July 18th, 2012
12:29 PM ET

USDA says 39 more counties are drought disaster areas

The USDA has designated 39 additional counties in eight states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat, CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.

During the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 1,297 counties across 29 states as disaster areas, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

Worst drought since '50s may cost us all

The U.S. is facing the largest drought since the 1950s, the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday, saying that about 55% of the country was in at least moderate short-term drought in June for the first time since December 1956, when 58% of the country was in a moderate to extreme drought.

The hot, dry weather in June, which ranked as the third-driest month nationally in at least 118 years, according to the center, made the problem worse.

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soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. RCDC

    Replant the crops and spray liquid salt on the cloud to produce rain for irrigation.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. RCDC

    The excessive heat may have come from the temporary heat driven from the Colorado's fire last month, where176 acres of parks that includes fauna and flora of its natural forest were burned and may have affected the western part of the United States temperature .

    July 19, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      If you think 176 acres is alot, you really have no idea what you are talking about. A million acres burned in Texas last year and no one is suggesting it raised the air temp across the US.

      July 19, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Heather

    America is at an all time high of obesity and now there will be a massive food storage. If there was a god, I don't see that as punishing. What if there is a connecting force, that wouldn't necessarily need to be a single a god, but creates an equilibrium constant. Like existential evolution.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hollywood

    Someone do something to help the poor people affected by this horrific weather.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Terence

      Gov has no money. Time to stop sending cash to this farming money pit.
      Let the farms go bankrupt.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Great idea! Another government program, funded with another tax increase that, whoops, disincentivizes work and sends jobs overseas!

      Hey, @Hollywood, there's this thing called "crop insurance". Farmers get it to mitigate risks like no rain and unpredicted solar flare activity. That way, they internalize the consequences of their decisions, like Americans used to do. Your advocacy of subsidizing maladaptive behavior – not calculating risk and insuring yourself against uncertainties – betrays you as a leftist. Take no responsibility! The government will solve all problems! That mindset disgusts me.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Umm

      we used 4-TRILLION gallons of water "fracking" natural gas...clearly that's more important then eating.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David Watson

    Its no secret that a major drought is overdue as they occur about every sixty years, with the last one in the 30's. So it was known this was going to happen. I'm not sure if global warming is a factor or not, but that's the way she goes. As there will be less food I imagine we'll be cutting back on things like hot dog eating contests.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tinydancer

      worst drought in 25 years – would take this back to 1980s – but the graph on the wall tells a story of it all – but what is the interval on the axis?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jlb

    Terence.. I hope your kidding or else have a brain the size of a bedbug

    July 19, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • tinydancer

      or maybe rocks in your head?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Name*daman

    Low interest loans to the farmers will further burden them and/or tax payer money gets wasted. Need sensible solutions to maintain robust crop production even during the drought. USDA needs to help to inrease soil organic matter of already depleted soils. We make soil organic matter and already in use in real world farm application in our country and middle east which has poor sandy soils and all year around has very high temperatures and drought because of almost no rain. Our product made of organic humic matter helps improve moisture holding capacity as well as several benefits. I produce organic humic products here in Virginia. I will be happy to provide to the farmers right away. Hopefully some one from USDA will read this and look up our ARCTECH.com unfo about our solution to this massive recurring problem and contact me to how USDA can support sensible solution to combat this massive challenge our farmers are facing. They feed us and we need to help them with real solutions instead of burdening them with more loans and spending tax payers money which does not solve the problem.
    Thanks for highlighting this massive need and seeking comments. Thanks

    July 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dale

    Big grocery store chains are all ready gouging grocery prices, they will use any excuse to go up on grocery prices just like they do on the oil stock exchange.

    If there is a major food shortage point the finger at Wall Street commodities exchange they are the ones exporting US food produce to Asia because their currency is stronger.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Remmett70

    3.5 inches of rain over night. My grass in long and green. I drive by corn that is standing above the eaves on the farmers garages every day back and forth from work. The farmers here are going to rake in the cash with the higher prices. Things are good.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    People of the United States of America and the MSNBC Lean Forward Progressives,
    Well, everyone be prepared to dig deeper in our wallets to pay for food by the fall.
    If anyone in the Obama Administratin could like out of the box,all those unmanned Drones the goverment wants to use to spy on Americans should be used to try and seed clouds in the drought areas to generate some rain.But,
    I guess all the Liberal Progressives would prefer to go natural and have our Native Americans(I am married to one,wife is Mohawk)do some "Rain Dances" to give them jobs.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MIKE


    July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Darrell in Iowa

    You city folk, don't have quite the entire picture. While 90% of family farmers do carry crop insurance and most will receive 70% of a normal crop, there is no such thing as "livestock" insurance. Farmers already facing a 40% increase in corn prices the last two months are rapidly liquidating their herds because they can't afford feed. Breeders are selling cows for hamburger because they can't afford to feed them. The drought is very real and weather forecasts for the next ten days here in Iowa (which is the nation's largest producer of corn and pork) are bleak. I live in the heart of the best land of Iowa and we haven't had ANY measurable rain for almost a month. Even should rain start now, its too late the crop is already severely damaged and cannot recover.

    Grain farmers with insurance will survive this year. Far too many lIvestock farmers are going to go broke and out of business. The only survivors will be the big corporate livestock farmers who will screw the devil out of you from here on out.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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