USDA Announces Assistance to Farmers During Drought


    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated almost 80 percent of Arkansas as disaster areas due to long periods of drought this year. 

The state agency may be offering a solution to one farmer in our region. 

“I’m not making as much money as I need to be,” Farmer Ron Morrow said. 

Cattle farmer Ron Morrow is waiting for rain. 

“The problem is the grass is just not growing,” Morrow said. 

The United States Department of Agriculture has designated 61 drought stricken Arkansas counties as disaster areas, including Washington County. 

And it’s showing in Morrow’s livestock. 

With the grass not growing, Morrow has had to buy hay instead, making him dig deep into his wallet

“For example, today I fed them 5 bales of hay,” Morrow said. “40 dollars each. That’s 200 dollars just in one day.”

The lack of rain makes Arkansas farmers and ranchers across the state now eligible for natural disaster assistance. 

But Lonnie Euing – a loan manager from the Farmer’s Service Agency – says there are certain qualifications. 

“There must have decent credit, and to have suffered a more than 30 percent loss, and not be able to make their credit needs through a private lender,” Loan Manager Lonnie Euing said. “Those three things are very important when you are fitting it a short time slot.”

But for now, Morrow is hopeful.

“You know what they say about March, in like a lion out like a lamb,” Morrow said. “So we will get rain. It’ll come.”

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