Region 8 Counties Under Drought Alert

July 7, 2005 – Posted at 5:36 p.m. CDT
BULTER COUNTY, MO -- Region 8 has had a shortage of rainfall since February and most parts have seen low stream levels and low soil moisture conditions. Recent rains have helped, but farmers are still feeling the heat.
Governor Matt Blunt has issued a drought alert for 23 counties in the state of Missouri and he's also asked the Drought Assessment Committee to step into action.
The DAC will evaluate conditions in Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Ripley and Stoddard counties. Hopefully they'll find ways to assist farmers.
“We're not accustomed to drought in April and May, and that's when things are trying to grow and so we haven't had that growth, so now we have to just make do for the rest of the year,” said agronomist Bruce Beck.
“We had dry weather early and then we got rains and then dry weather again, and the crops, they come up or didn't come up to a good stand,” said farmer Gary McBroom.
Soybeans have been hit the hardest and McBroom says this is the worst he's seen in nearly a decade.
“Unless we get some rain and get these things looking better and get a better yield, we're defiantly going to have a long hard winter,” said McBroom.
And most farmers are getting hit where it hurts the worst.
McBroom said, “If you spent $100,000 dollars putting in your crop last year, you're going to spend $150,000 dollars this year for the same or lower. Our yields are going to be down, so you're going to see a lot of crying.”
McBroom says his soybeans still have potential and he plans to harvest them in November, but what they really need now is natural rain.