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McCaskill: Drought Aid on the way to Missouri

Disaster declaration will provide assistance to communities affected by record-setting drought

January 9, 2013

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill praised an announcement today that several counties in Missouri will receive federal resources thanks to a disaster designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Folks in Missouri see the effects of this drought everywhere they look-from lost and damaged crops, to navigation challenges on our rivers," said McCaskill, who has successfully fought for resources to help Missouri's affected communities. "So this declaration is good news for our farmers, and the livelihoods of folks whose jobs are affected by these severe conditions." The designation will make farm operators eligible for emergency loans provided by the Farm Service Agency. Farmers in eligible counties will have eight months to apply for the loans.

The counties designated at primary disaster areas include: Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Bates, Caldwell, Callaway, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Daviess, De Kalb, Dunklin, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Lafayette, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nodaway, Pettis, Pike, Ralls, Ray, Warren, and Worth.

Counties designated as contiguous disaster areas include: Adair, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Clay, Franklin, Gasconade, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Johnson, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Miller, New Madrid, Osage, Pemiscot, Platte, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Clair, Saline, Shelby, Stoddard, Sullivan, and Vernon.

Recently, McCaskill offered an amendment to a disaster aid bill that would provide disaster assistance for Missouri's ranchers after this summer's historic drought-the most recent of her efforts to pass this much-needed assistance. McCaskill has also helped lead a bipartisan effort, along with fellow Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, successfully urging the Army Corps of Engineers to take action to ensure continued navigation along the Mississippi River, after concerns that low river levels combined with the Army Corps' plan to divert flow into that river might hurt the region's economy.

McCaskill was also a leader in helping to pass a strong bipartisan Farm Bill in the Senate that provided critical tools to Missouri's rural communities to deal with natural disasters. The U.S. House of Representatives failed to act on the Farm Bill, instead forcing an extension of current policies.

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