Missouri’s net farm income is projected to drop 18% this year to $3.6 billion, according to the Spring 2024 Missouri Farm Income Outlook. Scott Brown, interim director of the University of Missouri’s Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center told Missourinet that drought has played a major impact.

“You know, we’ve seen a reduction in the number of beef cattle inventory here in the state of Missouri,” Brown said. “That’s just really been due to dry weather in multiple years and that’s also had an effect in the crop side as well as we talk about yields that are below trend levels for many of our commodities.”

The extreme heat and drought conditions also led to the slaughter of non-pregnant cows last summer due to poor crop and hay conditions. It has also affected crops.

“For 2024, we’re hopeful maybe average weather will prevail, and we’ll get some higher yields again, but when you look at 2023, what we harvested last fall, 153-bushels per acre, that’s well below the 170 we harvested in 2020,” he said. “So, we have seen weather play an impact.”

Missouri’s drought alert has been extended to September 1. Gov. Mike Parson says the alert will continue if the state’s farmers and ranchers are struggling from the effects of prolonged dryness.

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