Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee who represents one of the country’s most rural districts, is closely monitoring the drought situation in Missouri and is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for an emergency release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands for livestock and grazing.
“What I have seen in the Fourth District and around our farm is disheartening,” said Hartzler. “The corn is dying, soybean plants are under stress, and pastures are drying up. In addition, the news from the National Weather Service is not good. In a report issued late last week we were told that conditions not only are very dry but will likely continue and result in drought conditions worsening in the coming weeks as the current hot and dry weather pattern is likely to be with us through at least this week.”
“I have been joined by Missouri’s other eight U.S. House Members in asking the USDA to consider releasing CRP lands to ease the enormous stress on livestock production operations,” continued Hartzler. “Such action would be in line with USDA’s past actions during natural disasters, including drought, in which CRP lands have been released for livestock haying and grazing. We support Governor Jay Nixon in his request that USDA’s Farm Service Agency begin assessing damage to crops and livestock in the entire state due to persistent drought.”
“In the meantime, I join my neighbors in the Fourth praying for rain and making the best of the situation until rain comes,” Hartzler added. “Missouri weather can reverse itself quickly and we can hope and pray it does so soon.”