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. Gerald Anumba

    the USA should humbly turn to JESUS. He alone can restore all things to normal. Only JESUS can save USA from more horrific disaster that awaits in the future to come. From the leader to the least, all should turn to God or else America will sink and never rise again.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. driranek

    Yea, drought might cause us to have to pay a bit more for food, but somewhere the poor will starve. In the short term there's one thing that can dramatically reduce the problem – STOP BURNING FOOD. The ethanol subsidies and requirements were always a silly idea, but now they are very litterally going to kill a lot of people. End them immediately.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 22X Richer

    As big food needed a reason to raise food prices this fall. Guaranteed prices will rise on all foods while we burn corn in the form of ethanol in cars. Brilliant.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Face

      Supply and Demand simply

      July 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. snowdogg

    Why is the grass/weeds along side the road still green and the field corn brown/burnt?

    July 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Weeds are weeds because they are very hardy. All their energy is devoted to producing more weed seeds. Corn and other row crows are bred for commercial value and require human assistance to thrive. No rain, no fertilizer, no herbicides and you get very little yield. Weeds are also pretty good at tapping the soil moisture under the pavement, something a field crop can't do.

      July 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • massbytes

      Weeds are much tougher than food crops.

      July 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LOL

    My county is in the red zone ... yet we've had 3 inches of rain over the average this year. Hmmmm.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cait

    its not god or jesus thats screwing up the weather, people...its the fact that we are treating our environment so poorly.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cait

    oh, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster...its not god or jesus or any other deity thats screwing up the weather, people...its the fact that we are treating our environment so poorly.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Burbank

    Just keep cranking out those big families and shouting Drill, Baby, Drill! After drought comes famine....

    July 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. one time republican

    So we are in a drought now, and there have been many instances of natural disasters and droughts occuring in foreign lands which prompted the U.S. to send aid. Now that we have a problem, where is our aid from foreign countries. Just saying.

    July 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Umm

    good thing we only used almost 4-TRILLION gallons of water in Fracking natural gas.

    July 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SugarKube

    WOW now Opie has something else he can blame is soaring food prices on.

    July 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thatguy

    inb4 global warming

    July 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. craig

    GOP Press Release: There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, of climate change or global warming.

    July 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. larry5

    Will battleground states be the only ones receiving drought relief before election day?

    July 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cf

    Don't feel too bad for the farmers. They'll still get their money through farm subsidies and FEMA. Feel bad for the rest of the consumers, who are going to feel the sting of price increases at the grocery store.

    July 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1olddude

      See my post below; I wonder how many of them are Tea Party supporters?

      July 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
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