Ag disaster
12:24 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

McCaskill, Blunt ask for agriculture disaster declaration

Both of Missouri’s Senators have signed a letter asking agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack to declare almost all of the state a disaster area due to drought conditions.

The federal Farm Service Agency recently found that every county except St. Louis city met the requirements for that declaration. It would open up emergency loans and expand the places where ranchers can graze their cattle.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says these situations prove why it’s important to keep assistance programs well-funded.

"I do like to gently remind everyone that this is when everyone in rural Missouri loves the federal government," McCaskill said. "It's easy to be against the federal government until you need them. And when we have disasters, it's very important that these programs be in place.

Both McCaskill and her Republican counterpart, Roy Blunt, say they expect Vilsack to make the declaration.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann