Gov. Mike Parson has extended a drought alert in Missouri until next May. All or portions of at least 85 Missouri counties are experiencing some level of drought. The state barely saw any rain in spring and summer and that yielded low crop production numbers.

To make matters even worse, Parson said Mother Nature has been unwilling to cooperate.

“The problem is, we really didn’t get the fall rains that we normally get, too,” he told Missourinet. “So now you’re going into the winter. Needless to say, when it comes to your livestock, for sure, with feed, you’re not going to have the feed that you’ve had in the past and there’s no way to make that up. So, your kind of behind already before you ever get to spring.”

Parson said that the state’s agriculture industry has been suffering.

“You’re going to have a lot of farmers and ranchers all over the state that’s still trying to make up for the losses they had, not only this summer, but last summer both,” he said. “You just had a combination, you had two droughts in two years. That’s a little unusual for us, but that’s part of the reason, because we know we’re not out of that until we get some rain, until we hit spring.”

The order extension allows Missouri’s Drought Assessment Committee to continue supporting the affected communities through the winter and work on ways to lessen the impacts of future droughts.

Parson hopes that Old Man Winter brings some much-needed precipitation.

“If we go through another drought, if we have another drought like we had this year next year, we’ll have some major problems,” Parson said. “So, I think one, being a little proactive on this, making sure everybody’s still aware that this is a problem, going into the winter, and going into the spring, is something everybody needs to be prepared for.”

The Drought Alert was declared on May 31 and the executive order was set to expire on December 1.

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