Rural Missouri - September 2012 - (Page 18)

The worst drought in 75 y ot. Dry. Oppressive. Unrelenting. Heartbreaking. No matter how it’s described, 2012 has achieved dubious distinction and will long be remembered for one of the worst droughts on record. According to the Missouri Climate Center at the University of Missouri, the three-month period of May through July ranked as the third warmest on record and the warmest since 1936. It also was the driest Maythrough-July period in the state since 1936, plunging the Show-Me State into drought that few had witnessed. H by Jason Jenkins & Kyle Spradley The year began with predictions of record grain harvests, but hope for a bumper crop faded fast. With little to no rain and long stretches of temperatures eclipsing the 100-degree mark, farmers watched helplessly as their crops shriveled. By the end of July, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Missouri had the worst corn, soybean and pasture conditions in the entire country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared all 114 counties as disaster areas. Cattle and dairy producers — their pastures burned to a crisp — began feeding hay or selling off their herds. Other livestock also suffered in the sweltering heat, and mortality rates climbed for pork and poultry produc- Above: Dead bigmouth buffalo float along the banks of a pond on the Latchford family farm east of Shelbina. The Macon Electric Cooperative members lost the fish as temperatures soared above the century mark in June and July, depleting oxygen in the water and essentially suffocating the fish. Kills like this were reported in rivers and lakes across the Midwest. Right: Cattle search unsuccessfully for grass to graze in a pasture along Highway 160 in Oregon County. By the end of July, 98 percent of Missouri pastures were reported in poor or very poor condition. Below: When Dan Pehle’s 18-acre irrigation lake is full, the water is more than 14 feet deep and reaches the pump where he stands. However, without rain to replenish the lake, the Consolidated Electric Cooperative member found his intake pipe high and dry by mid-July as the body of water shrunk to less than 3 acres, preventing him from providing his crops with water. Just a year after high water flooded Missouri farmland along the Miss exposed sand. The low levels inhibited barge traffic, requiring operat 18 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2012

Rural Missouri - September 2012
Table of Contents
Where the wild things are
Hit the trail
Plowing forward with a new tradition
Out of the Way Eats
Devastating drought
Hearth and Home
Closing the gateway
Around Missouri
A man & his monsters

Rural Missouri - September 2012