Local livestock producers hit by this year's drought may be eligible for grants to help plant cover crops for feed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing $2 million in grants to farmers and ranchers in Missouri, according to a news release from the department. Cover crops paid for with the money could be used for grazing or turned into hay.
Farmers and ranchers in counties impacted by drought can apply for a grant at a local USDA office through Aug. 31. Eligibility will be determined using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor Report, a service provided by USDA and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Applicants in counties with more severe drought will be given priority, according to the news release.
Boone County was in the middle of a severe drought as of July 10, according to the latest data from the drought monitor report.
J. R. Flores, Missouri state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said in the news release that Missouri's drought conditions are severe and among the worst in the Midwest.
"We believe that seeding cover crops into pastures and cropland will at least offer our farmers and ranchers a chance of providing feed and forage over the next few months," Flores said in the release.
The locations of USDA service centers in Missouri can be found using the USDA website's service center locator.