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      Drought assistance from USDA for some Iowa farmers

      The drought conditions are catching the attention of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

      Branstad talked about how the drought is affecting his state during a stop in Fort Madison.

      He said he remembers quite well the droughts that hit the Hawkeye state back in the 1980s and he wants to make sure assistance is available to those farmers who are getting hit hard by the dry conditions.

      "Crop insurance will help, but we need to start at the local level as to assistance, move to the state level and finally see what help will be at the federal level for those farmers whose crops are under stress from the drought," Branstad said.

      Besides the concern with the corn and soybean crops, Branstad said there is also concern with those producers who are raising livestock.

      "I knew knew what to expect. I was governor back in the 1980s when the drought hit in 83 and 88. The bigger picture is the price of corn and soybeans and how that is going to affect the cattle and hog farmers," Branstad said. He also made reference to the lack of a current federal farm bill that would also help some livestock producers during this drought.

      As the governor was talking with the Rotary Club in Fort Madison, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a disaster declaration for the 10 Iowa counties that border the State of Missouri. That means those farmers will now be eligible to get low interest loans from the federal government as well as other assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

      Branstad also said he's travelled the state for the last few weeks and that Eastern Iowa from Dubuque and Jackson counties as far south to Lee county, a majority crops are showing signs of stress due to the drought.