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
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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid