ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-The weather has been warm, unusually warm all year. Looking at the numbers, 2012 has been the warmest start to a calendar year on record in St. Louis.
On top of the warmth, 2012 has also been dry. For the year, we are running eight tenths of an inch below average. That doesn’t sound like a lot. But when you look over just the last two months, May and June, St. Louis is short more than four inches of rainfall. That means it has been a tough two months for lawns, gardens, and especially farmers.
On Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to start evaluating the damage to crops and livestock in all Missouri counties due to the heat and extremely dry conditions.
The Governor’s request for damage assessments is the first step in the process of declaring counties as primary disaster areas, or those that lose at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop. A disaster designation would allow eligible farmers to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
The National Climatic Data Center says moderate drought conditions persist across nearly 87 percent of Missouri and extreme drought conditions exist in southeast Missouri.