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Emergency cost-share program helps Carthage turkey farmer - KOAM TV 7

Emergency cost-share program helps Carthage turkey farmer get through drought

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Southwest Missouri farmers are already installing new irrigation systems with funds from the Emergency Cost-Share Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that it usually takes about a year to get a contract up and running, and some farmers are saying this program is the fastest they've ever seen.

John Brewer is a poultry farmer near Carthage, Missouri and says the program saved his business.

Brewer replaced his water pumps when he received his assistance just days after applying for the program.  It was only a few days before, when the wells stopped producing and Butterball stepped in to help with water tanks.

"Our wells both went dry due to the water tables being so low," Brewer says.  "It's very difficult to get drinking about fogging water and so and on top of that our crops and our hay this year have suffered tremendously because of the drought."

The cost of the new pumps - about $12,000.

"The program paid for about $5,100 and the difference there is that with the size operation that we have, our pumps are much larger than what they had in the program," Brewer says.

"Jefferson City is redirecting that money down to our offices," says Heath Cobine of the USDA.  "We started off with $20,000, then it went up to $100,000, now the district will have about $200,000 to a lot to the land owners in Jasper County."

Brewer's farm produces about four million pounds of turkey per year.  Without the new pumps that number might be a little bit lower.

New wells on Brewer's farm increased in depth and added to the amount of water being produced for the turkeys, about 50 gallons per minute, giving Brewer a reason to keep the 35,000 turkeys at his farm.

"We've had more water now than we've actually had in about 10 years," Brewer says.

The deadline to apply for Missouri's Emergency Cost-Share Program is this coming Monday, August 6th, at noon.  To apply fill out the form at http://dnr.mo.gov/drought-relief.htm

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