Gov. Mike Parson says Polk County, where he has a farm, is among the Missouri counties affected by drought.

Drought map

“We’re just in terrible shape down here,” says Parson, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News. “We haven’t had rain in months.”

Farmers in the driest counties are chopping corn that’s become too dry to make a crop of grain.

In June, Parson signed an executive order putting 47 Missouri counties on drought alert. The governor says state agencies are exploring what’s available to help farmers and ranchers.

“We’re working on it from the state level trying to see what we can do, as far as to assist farmers and help them,” he says, “but the reality of it is, at the end of the day, we just need rain.”

The next week or so, according to Governor Parson, will at least provide a diversion.

“It’s a time to go to the State Fair and just enjoy the time you have there with family and friends and see a lot of young men and women showing livestock,” says the governor. “It’s a great opportunity.”

The Missouri State Fair opens today in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia. The annual event runs through Aug. 19.

By Tom Steever of Brownfield Ag News