Officially beginning in August 2011, a severe drought gripped much of the Midwest throughout the entirety of 2012 and brought devastating results to farmers throughout Missouri. Locally, burn bans became more and more common, extreme heat toppled records in June and crops failed in the rural areas of Morgan, Miller and Camden County. Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue in Linn Creek dipped into winter supplies of wheat and hay as the summer crops failed. Creeks and streamed dried up and residents on well water had to keep a close eye on water usage as the water table dropped. Farmers across the area could apply for federal aid when all of Missouri was declared a disaster area on July 17 by U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. The natural disaster troubles simply exacerbated problems in Morgan County as the Farm Service Agency office in Versailles faced closure, forcing constituents to travel to the California office in neighboring Moniteau County. Across Missouri, low river levels affected shipping and barge traffic. Although the heat let up with the seasons, lack of rain continues to plague the area.