The drought, which is less extreme but geographically even more widespread than the one that led to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s – a period of severe agricultural loss in the U.S. – is now affecting more than 60 percent of the country, and 78 percent of the corn-growing regions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.Related IPS ArticlesAction Needed Now to Prepare for Severe Drought
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“In the 18 primary corn-growing states, 30 percent of the crop is now in poor or very poor condition,” the National Drought Summary said. “In addition, fully half of the nation’s pastures and ranges are in poor or very poor condition.”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has responded by designating more than 1,000 counties in 26 states as natural disaster areas, making affected farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Still, the unprecedented drought will inevitably take a heavy toll on farmers, according to John Hawkins from the Farm Bureau of Illinois, one of the most affected states.
IPS – Crops Failing as U.S. Simmers in Record Heat Wave | Inter Press Service