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. sparty0n

    The headline "USDA says 39 more counties are drought disaster areas". But then the story goes on to talk about the heat, AS IF, we didnt already know how hot it is. But the story doesnt tell us, WHAT COUNTIES????!!!!!!

    July 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gelenthegreat

    In the Philippines, they induce rain by seeding the clouds. Can they not be done here too?

    July 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Northern Farmer

    I love how the drought becomes a government issue. The fact is if corn and soybeans die and continue to be plowed under we could see a spike in all things. Think about it. Those two crops run the world. And we were able to export them due to our surplus in production. Natural disasters happen. Remember the dust bowl? Facts are shelf life is only so long so why not make money before it spoils but now our society can really evaluate its values. I'm losing money this year. Lots of it. But I'll survive and I'm a farmer in a drought

    July 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    If we can send fresh water to China why in the flippin' world can't we send it to farms in the US??!

    July 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    Try this AGAIN...If we can send millions upon millions of gallons of fresh water to China why can't we send it to farms in the US?

    July 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. paula

    We can stand to eat much less corn.We don't need HFCS in our diet at all.
    The less traveling the "food" does in Diesel trucks and planes the better.
    If we cut down on precessed foods and soda, we won't need so damn much corn.

    July 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iowaboy

      Think about what almost all of the livestock in the US eats. They are almost all fed corn. That's why you're going to notice a rise in prices not just in products that use High Fructose Corn Syrup, but in a wide range of products dependent on livestock and corn. Your right that the Americans don't need so many sugary foods in our diets, but the extent of this drought will affect many more items than HFCS.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buckee

      By the time suger gets into your system, it doesn't know or care where it came from. Blaming your obesity on others ?????

      July 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    The only reason ethenol is required in our fuel in very small amounts is so that your gas tank will explode when 1000s of manmade flying saucers attack with what's been done with Teslas 'free energy'.
    Lab tests show that free energy particle beams have no effect on gasoline or diesel unless small amounts of biodegradeable material is added.
    No? What do YOU think Russia and the US did with the hundreds of nazi flying saucers they each brought home? What's being built in the 40 trillion dollars worth of underground military bases built during the Cold War? Wheelchairs?

    July 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    The one near where I live, Cheyenne Mountain CO, has it's own coal burning powerplant big enough to light a city of 250,000 people. NORAD isn't there anymore. (at Petersen AFB) What's there now?
    Our government never has told US exactly what they did with Germany's secret weapons facilities and weapons. (other than the nazis that escaped war crime tribunals and went to work for NASA, Bayer AG, and Chase Manhattan. And, it has been admitted where our jet and rocket engines came from. But mums the word on nazi flying saucers captured. The www is full of proof they were actually built by the thousands ya know.

    July 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    Acourse this is all just based on a hunch I had the other day. 🙂

    July 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThomasD

      Heya Phil! Still goin with those hunches, huh..

      July 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Darren

    108 here in kc..every day has been triple digits and no end in sight. Cant beleive this.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ko, Hai-Sheng

    It is surprised to me that 1,297 counties qualified farm operators eligible only for low-interest emergency loans. In many countries or places, such as in Taiwan, those operators would be eligible for the public subsidiary to their physical losses, not only emergency loans. Otherwise, some farmers would be in the status of starvation. It implies that, formers in US are much better in financial capability than in Taiwan or other places.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Susie Joner

    The drought here in Illinois is devasting. All lawn watering should be outlawed during this crisis...so wasteful. Grass dormancy is a natural phenomena and will green itself once rain occurs.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cherish

    And we should be surprised because?? Wow, extreme flooding in one area while extreme heat, dryness, and huge fires in another. Al Gore.... Climate Change? Never! Doesn't exist. No such thing. What's that saying? Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil? If we ignore it enough I think it will go away!

    July 19, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. jim

    They obviously didn't prepare for this properly. Why should any of my tax dollars go to help people people in need? It's not like the USA was founded on Christians principles or anything like that.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Tallus

      Wow. Please don't be so arrogant as to assume charity is exclusively a Christian trait. If we did what the Bible said, we'd all be torturing the innocent, burning people alive for talking about science and we wouldn't have the Internet. This country was founded by people who wanted to get away from religious persecution, not so they could use religion to persecute others, and it certainly doesn't get the credit for anything good that gets done. People are inherently good, and everyone is born an Atheist.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ko, Hai-Sheng

    Among others, cloud-seeding or artificial rain-making is one of the many methods trying to relieve the severe drought. USA has the most advantage to undertake such kind of program. Probably, as of now, the weather conditions are still not suitable to do so. I hope, in the near future, the weather conditions would enable the Department of Agriculture to do so.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
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