News / USA

Obama Announces Another $30 Million in US Drought Aid

President Barack Obama makes a statement on efforts on drought  Aug. 7, 2012President Barack Obama makes a statement on efforts on drought Aug. 7, 2012
x
President Barack Obama makes a statement on efforts on drought  Aug. 7, 2012
President Barack Obama makes a statement on efforts on drought Aug. 7, 2012
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama is authorizing an additional $30 million in federal government help for drought-stricken U.S. farmers and ranchers. America’s continued dry weather will likely affect food and fuel prices worldwide.

The president met Tuesday with officials from several government departments to find ways to help U.S. food producers, who have been hit by a drought he calls “devastating” and “historic.”

Among the steps he is taking is to direct the Agriculture Department to spend $30 million to help provide more water to livestock and to restore land affected by the drought. Obama is also allowing more emergency low-interest loans to crop and livestock producers, and more lending to related small businesses.  He also ordered a program to help commercial truck drivers deliver supplies to the stricken areas.

The president said further steps are likely.

“We are going to continue to solicit ideas from state and local organizations, faith-based organizations, not-for-profit groups, the private sector, and most of all, the farmers and ranchers that are directly impacted, to find additional ways that we can help.  Because when there is a disaster like this, everyone needs to pull together,” Obama said.

Obama said he has already declared disaster areas in parts of 32 states.

The president also called on Congress to pass the five-year, $500 billion comprehensive farm bill that has passed the Senate, but not the House of Representatives.

“Congress needs to pass a farm bill that will not only provide important disaster relief tools, but also make necessary reforms and give farmers the certainty that they deserve,” Obama said.

Officials say this is one of America’s worst droughts in decades.

Agricultural economist Chris Hurt of Purdue University in Indiana says parched Midwestern cornfields are suffering one of their worst years since the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.

“Corn yield is one we can track very far back, that we have already passed 1988 as one of the worst droughts in more modern history.  Then we really go back to 1934 and 1936,” Hurt said.

Hurt says the shortage of corn and other U.S. farm exports will be felt around the world.

“Since the United States is the largest exporter of basic agricultural goods to the world, that means these higher prices and higher costs for food and fuel will be exported to the world as well,” Hurt said.

Experts say rain and cooler temperatures forecast for this week in parts of the Midwest could help soybean crops, but are too late for the corn.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid