Drought Resource Center

“Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of Missouri’s economy, but with prices dropping from the ongoing trade war coupled with worst drought we’ve seen since 2012, their livelihoods are on the line. That’s why I’m working hard to secure drought assistance and pass a Farm Bill that provides critical resources and certainty that our agriculture producers need now more than ever.” — Claire

McCaskill’s Fight for Missouri’s Farmers and Ranchers

  • On April 25, 2018, Senator McCaskill sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee asking for a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes support for disaster programs.
  • On June 28, 2018, Senator McCaskill voted in favor of the Senate Farm Bill, which supports commodity and livestock producers with a strong farm safety net.
  • On July 26, 2018, Senator McCaskill sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue encouraging the USDA to approve special authorities for Missouri Farm Service Agency to release Conservation Reserve Program lands for emergency haying and grazing.
  • On October 9, 2018, Senator McCaskill sent a letter to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency to ensure farmers have adequate access to drought recovery services close to home.

Resources Available for Missouri’s Farmers and Ranchers

USDA Farm Service Agency Programs Available

FSA offers disaster assistance to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts during drought or similar qualifying natural disasters. Available programs include:

  • Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) –provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters (includes native grass for grazing). Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2018 crops.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) –LIP provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible adverse weather conditions. Drought is not an eligible adverse weather event, except when associated with anthrax, a condition that occurs because of drought and directly results in the death of eligible livestock. Producers must submit a notice of loss within 30 days after the death is first apparent.
  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) –provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. Producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.
  • Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) – provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters and to implement emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. 
  • HayNet –is an internet-based Hay and Grazing Net Ad Service allowing farmers and ranchers to share 'Need Hay' ads and 'Have Hay' ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze. www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet.
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Emergency Grazing – authorized to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster on qualifying CRP acres. Emergency authorization is provided by either a national FSA office authorization or by a state FSA committee determination utilizing the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) – provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land. Producers must provide a completed application for payment and required supporting documentation to their FSA office within 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the grazing loss occurred. 
  • Emergency Loan Program – Available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.

To establish or retain FSA program eligibility, farmers and ranchers must report prevented planting and failed acres (crops and grasses). Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).

For more information on disaster assistance programs and loans visit www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster or contact your local FSA Office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Tax Relief Following Drought

There are two provisions in the tax code that may provide relief for producers during periods of drought.  Please consult your local tax professional when making financial decisions and to determine your eligibility for these exemptions.

  • IRC Section 1033(e) aids livestock producers who sell more draft, breeding, or dairy animals than normal due to weather-related conditions. This provision allows producers to defer gains for up to two years in areas not declared as a disaster area and for up to four years in areas with declared disasters.  Producers must illustrate that weather related conditions directly contributed to the sale of more livestock than usual.  Tax basis of the replacement livestock is equal to the basis in the livestock sold plus any additional amount invested in the replacement livestock that exceeds the proceeds from the sale. If the animals are not replaced, or if replacement cost is less than the gain from their sale, the difference must be reported as a gain for the sale year by amending the tax return. The return will be subject to additional tax and interest.
  • IRC Section 451 aids producers using cash accounting in areas federally recognized and declared as eligible to receive federal assistance. Under this provision, producers can elect to defer for one tax year the income of certain livestock sold due to weather-related conditions. Only livestock sales in excess of normal business practice qualify for deferral.