**Web Extra: Watch Gov. Nixon chat with farmers above**
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Governor Jay Nixon announced an emergency program to help Missouri farmers suffering from the Midwest drought.
He unveiled a cost-share program under the State Soil and Water Districts Commission during a stop at the Springfield Livestock Market Tuesday.
"This is not the end of the rainbow," he told farmers. "This isn't one thing that's going to make it a good year. I don't want to say that. We're working our way through a historic drought here."
Gov. Nixon says the program will be available to Missouri livestock or crop farmers whose production is being severely impacted by the current drought.
"This is a multifaceted deal," said Nixon. "This is the biggest drought we've had in 50-60 years and it's only July. There is a chance of some rain Thursday, but a lot of the rain we've been getting, when we do get a little bit, doesn't even make it to the ground as dry as it is."
The governor signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency; it also authorized the State Soil and Water Districts Commission to implement the cost-share program.
In order to qualify for the program, a proposed water project must bring immediate material benefit to crops or livestock, and not adversely affect a public water supply. Under this emergency program, 90 percent of the eligible project cost will be covered, with a maximum cost-share award of $20,000.
Normal soil and water cost-share programs provide 75 percent of the project cost, with the landowner covering the remaining 25 percent. Because of the emergency situation of the drought, applications from farmers for this cost-share program must be submitted by August 6 to either the local soil and water district or online to the state of Missouri at http://MO.gov.
The governor says the local soil and water district will act on each application within 72 hours of its receipt.
"We're deeply committed to keeping as much of the information and choices at the local level here, but because of the speed, working with your local soil and water stuff, working with our state folks, is important to keep this moving."