Authors: Joshua Cohan
(OMAHA, Neb.) -- A prolonged drought in the Midwest is taking its toll on corn and soybean farmers. The government said Friday that corn growers could have their lowest yield in 17 years. Soybean production is down 12 percent.
“My heart goes out to every single producer who is impacted and affected by this drought,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday at the American Coalition for Ethanol conference in Obama, Neb.
“Fortunately, we planted nearly five million additional acres of corn, so as a result of this, even with the drought, even with the challenges, even with the difficulties, we're looking at the eighth largest corn crop in the history of this country,” Vilsack said.
“Mother Nature plays tricks,” he added. “And the reality is, even if you do everything right, you're still faced with potentially a loss of your entire crop.”
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Environmental Protection Agency is closely monitoring the situation while implementing steps to help farmers.
“The administration has already taken several steps from opening up lands for haying and grazing, to providing emergency loans to, helping get more truck drivers on the roads delivering much needed supplies, and the president has directed all agencies to continue looking for more ways to provide relief from this drought,” he said.
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