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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs