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Drought 2012

  • ethanol_corn_gas_can_200.jpg

    As a result of a Congressional mandate passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007, over 40 percent of this year’s greatly depleted corn crop will be diverted from food and livestock, and instead be sold at the gas pump. We are trading our precious, fertile acres of farmland for a small dent in our oil usage. We are prioritizing our goal to reduce oil dependence over providing food to people.

  • Marion Kujawa looks over an ear of corn picked from one of his fields on July 16, 2012 near Ashley, Illinois. The field from which the corn was picked has yielded more than 180 bushels of corn per acre in past years, Kujawa expects to get less than 15 bushels per acre from this year’s drought-damaged crop.

    As drought continues to affect most of the country, our thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of farm families who have been affected by this disaster. Today, USDA’s focus remains on doing all we can to support farm and ranch families in an uncertain time.

  • livestock_farmer_200.jpg

    While the crops and livestock of America’s farmers and ranchers are suffering, the U.S. will continue to have the safest, most affordable, most reliable food supply that the world has ever known because of our agriculture safety net.

  • A rotting ear of corn sits on a struggling corn plant in a drought-stricken farm field.

    The drought has been awful for farmers, but it could reap a bumper crop of good news for the seed business. With much of this year's corn harvest expected to be a disaster, analysts expect farmers to double down on seed purchases next year to get back on their feet.

  • Westfahl Family

    Back home in Kansas we are spending our time looking up to the sky, praying and hoping for rain. Our state, along with much of the country, is suffering from a very serious drought. Crops are dying, cattle are hungry and being sold off, and water is in scarce supply.

  • US President Barack Obama (2nd R) inpects drought stricken corn with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (R) and farmer Don McIntosh (C) and his brothers on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on August 13, 2012.

    While the federal government is spending more on meat and fish, a relief package and a massive farm bill are still mired in Congress and unlikely to move before the presidential election.

  • Crop Failure due to Drought

    Action in Washington, combined with the ongoing efforts by our agricultural experts to mitigate the effects of this drought will ensure that agriculture remains a strong pillar of the U.S. economy that provides good jobs and feeds the world.

  • Jeremy Tilton fills a water tank for cattle in a pasture August 3, 2012 near Cuba, Illinois.

    While wreaking havoc on grain crops, the worst U.S. drought in a half century is providing opportunities for companies that provide and pump the most precious of commodities — water. While the drought is testing farmers and food producers, the volatility in weather patterns is giving water companies new revenue sources, as they provide solutions to the environmental challenges.

  • corn_field_dry_200.jpg

    In Illinois, we’ve experienced the sixth-driest growing season on record. Of 102 counties, 100 are disaster areas, the state's governor addresses the issue of what's been done and what still needs to happen to help his state.

  • An underdeveloped ear of corn lays amongst corn plants damaged by extreme heat and drought conditions in a field in Carmi, Illinois.

    The latest numbers from the USDA firm up the outlook for this year's corn crop, and the final numbers may not be as bad as some feared.