News / USA

Midwest Farmers Battling Worst US Drought in Generation

Midwest Farmers Battling Worst Drought in Generationi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Kane Farabaugh
July 17, 2012 5:03 PM
Record high temperatures and a lack of rainfall are creating the worst drought conditions for U.S. farmers in a generation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared more than 1000 counties in 26 states natural disaster areas as crops there deteriorate. VOA's Kane Farabaugh has more from Illinois, one of the hardest-hit states.
Kane Farabaugh
BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — Record high temperatures and a lack of rainfall are creating the worst drought conditions for U.S. farmers in a generation.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared more than 1,000 counties in 26 states natural disaster areas as crops there deteriorate.

In this year's record setting heat under the hot summer sun, McLean County Illinois farmer Matt Hughes' crops are wilting.

Each day without rainclouds brings new disappointment and worry for Hughes.

"The crop I planted right now - I have more invested in this crop than any other crop in my life," he said.

Hughes says that's because with commodity prices at all-time highs, so is the cost of seed and fertilizer.

Now, he's watching his potential profits evaporate.

"This is the one year that can make or break a lot of farmers," added Hughes.

Farmers in Illinois, one of the top corn and soybean producing states in the country, are facing the worst drought conditions in decades.

Part of the corn crop in southern Illinois is already beyond salvage, and the problem is spreading, says Illinois Farm Bureau president Philip Nelson.

"I will tell you from north to south and east to west, this corn crop is in severe trouble and in dire need of a healthy amount of rainfall," Nelson noted.

June was one of the driest months on record in many parts of the country, depriving corn stalks of much needed water during pollination.

"We've got over 50 percent of the corn crop in Illinois that's in poor or very poor condition. There are only two states worse than that by the statistics service and that's Missouri and Kentucky," Nelson added.

Nelson says the poor crop has a ripple effect on other farmers throughout the country.

"The pork is the biggest user of soybean products.  Corn, its biggest user is beef cattle.  So with all due respect, everybody keeps an eye on what type of crop you are raising because it really affects the bottom line of livestock producers in this state," said Nelson.

Whatever the bottom line is for Matt Hughes is now beyond his control.

"This is the most productive ground in the world, it's not like I'm going to make a choice to not produce it because I think we're going to have a drought.  We produce it, and we take what we can get," said Hughes.

What Hughes is not getting is help from meteorologists.  They only predict a few scattered showers in the coming weeks.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid