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. dazzle ©

    As this thread turns to the topic of Bi-Polar don't believe everything you read on a news blog. Research the work of Kay Redfield Jamison Ph.D. who is a Professor of Psychiatry and a sufferer. I heard this tiny brilliant blonde woman speak on the lecture circuit and she is remarkable. If you are so inclined read her book An Unquiet Mind to get a glimpse into someone with personal experience and a scientific body of work.

    August 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    ...although many diagnosed as bi-polar were also abused as children and suffer from manic depression because of it.
    My wallflower brother is among this group. He has consumed approx. 6 million dollars worth of pharmaceuticals over the past 20-plus years...from Seroquel to name it, he's been prescribed it. He wishes to express thanks to the US taxper. Especially for the synthetic heroin you buy him. He really likes that stuff.

    August 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |

      Manic-depression and bi-polarism are the EXACT SAME THING, and it is hereditary.
      STOP spreading misinformation. It is NOT caused by a traumatic event, no matter HOW many times a person repeats it. If one does not know what bi-polarism is, one should be quiet. It has NOTHING to do with traumatic events, and EVERYTHING to do with genetics.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    If Abe Lincoln wore a disguise and walked into an avg. Dr's office and he had insurance, he could easilt be diagnosed as bi-polar. If no health insurance, the doktor would simply say "holy craep! yer the ugliest man alive". Get a facelift already.
    Abraham Lincoln was a very angry young man, and so ugly he made children cry. Most of his portraits hide his disfigurements. And he must of been in at least a hundred fistfights. Anger is expressed hurt.

    August 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |

      Anger is a completely different emotion than hurt. I am now going to quit reading these posts, for they have entered the realm of the b i z z a r e, and are not credible.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Purplemate

    both an inherited tendency and specific stressful conditions are required to produce a disorder, thus Bi-polarism is at it's core inherited yet stressful life events are thought to be the main element in the development of bipolar disorder.

    August 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |

      Though that does not explain the many with this condition that had no traumatic events ever happen to them.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    It's the bi-polarity of human sufferance and the forbearance of wisdom in the light of the ultimate ignorance of nothing.

    August 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Obama Mama

    I guess I missed JayJay, I had seen he was looking for me. I hope he is in a happy place Or a good hearted debate, I am up for that.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hey, hey Mama.
      Guess we missed out on that, lol.
      Too bad; you two have such spirited debates.
      They are fun to witness.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      @banasy- I will bring him to the demo-side (lol)and it is more in buddy form now. Although I did not get to print the other fake taxes the republicans in Missouri are touting. She said 20 but the last 3 were not there and some of them were the same tax only a different part of the same tax paid for by the med companies, device companies, or the wealthy. HEHEHE They are so mad their tans and their cadillac policies will be taxed. HEHEHE

      August 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, as long as it's
      Good luck on getting him to the demoside, though.
      I don't think it's going to happen.
      And of *course* misdirection is the hallmark of any candidacy...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      I know I just wanted him to come back on and *debate*

      August 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Purplemate

    @ MICHAEL, bear in mind one person's stress may be another person's piece of cake. Furthermore, there is not a narrow one fits all of bi-polar; there is actually 4 levels, the most severe being Bipolar I Disorder, in contrast the least potent form being Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, barely showing signs of the disorder.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Purplemate

    You are wayyyy out of control! LOL thanks for the laugh 😉

    August 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I'm laughing my head off right now, HB; I don't think that's going to go down well with actual patients, but hey, if I ever get a billy goat...

    August 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Obama Mama

    I heard libotomies were effective if you were looking for

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Mama, you want to give a billy goat a lobotomy?
    Tsk, tsk, lol!

    August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Obama Mama

    @BANASY-I would think it would be less painful.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ron Winton

    The Honorable Al Gore 10
    Denialists 0
    Game Over !

    August 2, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. ronvan

    I need to go back to bed and try this again! I THOUGHT

    August 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. ronvan

    I need to go back to bed and try this again! I THOUGHT this was about the drought? Stupid Me! BUT, while I am here. I have a step son, diagnosed as Bi-Polar years ago. He is now 19, living on his own, gertting social security, and,for me, a danger to society. Through the years I have seen his mother try to do eveything in her power to help him.
    The GREAT child services took him, saying that mother was unfit, only to bring him back within 3 days, saying "he is your problem"! He has been kicked out of EVERY school he was in, including pre-K, for biteing, kicking, yelling, screaming, racial incidents, you name it! He has physically beaten his mother and others trying to help her. Thoughout ALL of this, he was medicated, until they refused to pay anymore. He was placed in a home for treatment, until they wouldn't pay anymore. He was put in jail but released. And NOW he is on his own, a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. SO you can see why I might not be to impressed with the system!!!

    August 2, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
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