August 1st, 2012
12:10 PM ET

More than half of U.S. counties now disaster zones due to drought, officials say

More than half of all U.S. counties have been designated disaster zones, the Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday, blaming excessive heat and a devastating drought that's spread across the Corn Belt and is contributing to rising food prices.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday declared disaster zone designations for an additional 218 counties in 12 states because of damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat.

The states are Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Nearly three-quarters of the nation's cattle acreage is inside a region hit by drought, as is about two-thirds of the country's hay acreage, the agency reported.

USDA researchers added that an average of 37% of the nation's soybeans were last week ranked from very poor to poor, the lowest quality recorded since a massive drought in 1988.

More on the drought

Food prices climbing

Corn prices hit record as crops shrivel

Opinion: Extreme weather and a changing climate

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Roflmao @ mama, its ALWAYS a stretch, but somehow it always comes up! I know im bein bad, just thought i would expedite it a little. Lol

    August 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      @chrissy – I knew what you were doing.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    @Dave T hade me at "carbon footprint", but lost me on burning coal. We burn more coal per capita than China.
    Also, the avg. adult US citizens carbon footprint is 17 times bigger than the avg. African citizens. (by noon each day)
    Also, the US produces over 30% of the earths pollition, while being only 4% of the earths population.
    How big the carbon footprint of a nationwide obesity epidemic? And look at how big the children living under it are becoming...millions of little waffle stomper footprints all tolled crushes Africa. (raypes, rather)

    August 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |

    Jewish women are aliens posing as females. They enter the wombs before the Jewish man gets there, destroy his sperm cells,are born grom their own kind and let the jewish male think he has done it all.
    It is also why the female is the husbands crown and being Jewish is by the mother.
    How they originally got here was not by flying saucers. they just rode and still ride the tsunami waves of love caused by the big bang.
    Crop circles are just gentiles mimicing a very old jewish male tradition; that of whenever the woman of the house became what je thought was irrational and argumentive he found it wise to get out and walk around in circles trying to find out an explanation of why Jewish women were what they are.
    Now there is a spaced out theory if ever there was one.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      That's as good of a theory as any of the other garbage I read here on a daily basis, lol...

      August 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    None can argue that even during drought years, the earth produces more food than we need.
    The problem isn't the weather when it comes to starved people.
    The problem is with how food is distributed. Some nations are willing to go deep into debt to afford more than they need, even in debt to China.
    It's called Wretched American Excess, if you care to research. 🙂

    August 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      True, the greedy will sell it and we will buy it at any price though.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    If you are overly obese, your bicycles carbon footprint is bigger than my motorcycles'. 🙂 Do the math.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      My treadmill is happy footprint.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Lack or excess of rain,evaporation, climate change, distribution, obesity, wastefulness, processed food,all somehow contribute to a calamity be it here or elsewhere. The drought is upon us and that is the bigger reality, what are we doing to alleviate its consequences?
    Havn't heard of a debate on this up on the Hill yet.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Contrare. Wretched American Excess is a proven statistic, not theoretical at all. Where ya been? Go down to any US food outlet and see for yourself. Check our public debt, for example. (how much we borrow to give-away to Israel, for example)

    August 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I was talking to HIDE BEHIND, not you, Philip.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Hi @saywhat. Well, we could reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals we ingest that come with labels warning of "weight gain" for starters.
    Imagine the savings if we spent less on mind altering drugs than we do on national defense. But what do "we" do instead? Ban 44 oz soft drinks. Backwards thinking. Altered thinking, for a certainty.
    Once the CIA rounds-up drugmoney MDs, our national way of thinking will clear-up. Citizens will even elect the first President who DIDN'T believe in a god. Organized religions will be outlawed. Virtually the entire world will have electricity for their homes thanks to "Enrons" and militaries backing them. Peace will fill this earth.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @little mister, hi to you. I am responding without research so I may be wrong. I thought that Hitler had 6 siblings. Have a nice day.

      August 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    HIDE BEHIND...True about half-truths. (and outright lies) Like the half-truth we were told by "science experts" predicting that by the year 2000, a loaf of bread would cost 5 cents due to advancements in technology. Like the lie NASA told US that if we funded the space shuttle program, citizens would reap the rewards of having a cheap way to get cargo into space.
    What these "experts" didn't factor-in was the huge increases of mind altering drug usage. They were basing their expert opinions on a nation as it was at the time they made these "5 cent per loaf" predictions. Before America got hooked on debt, drugs, and welfare.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    The original crop circles were natural phenomena. And then there are man-made crop circles.
    Global climate change is a natural phenomenon. Violent weather extremes are due to greedy excessive pollution and how this unnatural human emotion (greed) that our parents were tasked to discipline out of us got left in.
    An entire nation of spoiled little brats wanting more of everything no matter if can't afford.
    American children have NOT assumed YOUR debt and will be expecting YOU to pay for it once they have political power that now resides in YOUR big fat bloody hands. Pay debt or goto Homeland Security Prison and slave it off.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Not all children are fat and stupid, or happy to have a piece of paper that says they're smart when not smart. Some can see your hypocricy and your wretched excess greed. THESE are the children of our future. These are the ones that will finally and for the first time elect a MAN who does NOT believe in your fairytale buddy Jesus god helping you support Israel and invade/occupy other than your BS "gods chosen jews".
    The children I speak of are the 'middle child' of the dysfunctional family model most Americans pattern their families by.
    Stubborn abusers, enablers, wallflowers, scapegoats...these are the greedy whom will pay for their own debt or slave it off. Ya'll only HOPE that your kids will assume YOUR public debt. Hope and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Yes. Adolph Hitler was a "middle child" in his families dysfunction. But after Adoph was rayped by his gay parrish priest, he suffered horribly..."manic depression" we call it today. (some say bi-polar by now) His "good doktor" the overly obese Theo Morrel lied to Adolph and said they were "vitamin shots" when they were seratonin inhibitors in reality...forerunners of modern SSRI drugs we force on our own depressed children.
    Hitler wasn't "born that way". And America wasn't born THIS way we do things nowadays. Both were and have been altered by illicit drugz, even by prescription.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Bi-polarity is inherited. In other words, it is genetic. A person cannot suddenly become bi-polar through a traumatic event. Sorry to disillusion you, but that's not how it works. If it makes a person feel better to believe otherwise, all right, but spreading misinformation is NOT all right.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |

    This is woefully incorrect information about bi-polarism. Please stop spreading false information. Ty.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Being abused as a child does in fact have lifelong implications, manic depression being one. Call it whatever you want. Abused children grow-up to become dpressed adults.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |

      Although abuse does have life long implications, bi-polarism is hereditary. Po-polarism is NOT the same as a depressive condition caused by traumatic events in childhood.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |

      Bi-polarism, not Po-polarism.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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