The National Weather Service (NWS) office in St. Louis says much of mid-Missouri remains in an extreme drought, which could lead to major crop or pasture losses. Water shortages are also possible.
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R) describes the drought as horrific. His farm is located in Phelps County, near Rolla.
“We didn’t get a drop of measurable rain down in our part of central Missouri in the month of April, which is unheard of. And that’s when grass really gets most of its moisture to grow for hay,” Kehoe says.
Lt. Governor Kehoe says there were also two droughts last year at his farm in Phelps County. He notes agriculture remains Missouri’s top industry, with a $93.7 billion impact.
Mr. Kehoe is also warning farmers and ranchers about scams involving hay sales. The state Department of Agriculture (MDA) is warning about similar scams. Lt. Governor Kehoe tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that some of the scammers are using professional-looking Facebook pages.
“You call them and what they say seems reasonable, a little bit reasonable. They say, hey you pay for the hay when we get to your farms. Everybody says, well that sounds good. You just got to give me a credit card to pay the trucker, that’s the person I’ve got to pay up front,” says Kehoe.
Kehoe tells listeners that a friend of his in mid-Missouri’s Wardsville was almost scammed. MDA is also warning farmers, saying they’ve received reports from producers who paid for hay upfront through a wire transfer, only to have no hay delivered. Kehoe and the Department both urge you to consider purchasing from someone you know, if possible. You’re also encouraged to view the hay in-person before any exchange of money.