drought

Economy - Agriculture
9:22 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Despite crop insurance, drought still stings farmers

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field on July 17 near Fritchton, Ind. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:30 am

Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.

Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.

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Mississippi River Shipping
2:54 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Drought starting to impact shipping along the Mississippi River

Barges pass under the Poplar Street Bridge. (via Wikimedia Commons/ Bachrach44)

The Drought is starting to severely impact shipping along the Mississippi River as water levels continue to drop.

The region’s shipping companies have had to lighten their loads to keep from running aground and that’s starting to cut into their bottom lines.

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Ag disaster
12:56 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Nixon calls for 'flash grazing' for Mo. livestock owners

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has called on the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission to allow livestock farmers to let their herds flash graze temporarily in so-called “exclusion areas.”

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Sen. Blunt
12:59 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Blunt: drought highlights need for good farm policy

Mo. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt would like to see the farm bill passed by the end of September 2012.
(via Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt is applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move to designate all of Missouri’s 114 counties a disaster area.

Speaking to reporters today, Blunt said the state’s ongoing drought highlights the need for good farm policy and he would like the House to pass a final farm bill by the end of September.

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Ag disaster
12:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Entire state of Mo. now federal agricultural disaster area

A farmer in Boone County, Mo. shows how big an ear of corn should be. The USDA on Tuesday declared the rest of the state's counties a disaster area.
(Malory Ensor/KOMU News via Flickr)

Updated with comments from McCaskill conference call.

The entire state of Missouri is now a federal agriculture disaster area.

Seventeen of the state's counties, mostly in the Bootheel, had already received that declaration. Today's announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends that declaration to the other 97 counties and the city of St. Louis.

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Drought
9:42 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer

On Monday, a weed was growing through the dry earth at Marion Kujawa's pond, which he normally uses to water the cattle on his farm in Ashley, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:16 pm

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

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Morning round-up
9:31 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Morning headlines: Monday, July 16, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Quinn to announce plan to address Illinois' drought

Gov. Pat Quinn plans  a visit to a southern Illinois farm today. The Illinois Farm Bureau says that so far, it's the sixth driest year on record. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is experiencing the worst of it.  Quinn is expected to detail whatever government relief may be available to drought-affected growers and ranchers.

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Drought
2:44 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

No drought relief in sight

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Malory Ensor)

Dry conditions are expected to get worse in the coming days, and it will take a whole lot more than scattered thunderstorms to break the drought. 

“We’re way, way, way below normal in rainfall,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Fred Glass said.  “Most of the area is in severe drought conditions, it’s going to quite a bit of rain to make that up, probably in many areas 8-12 inches, and in some areas in excess of 12 inches.”

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Morning Round-Up
7:05 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Morning headlines- Thursday, July 12, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Heat wave death toll rises

The death toll from the recent heat wave in St. Louis is up to 14.

The city announced yesterday that four more individuals- three men and a woman- had succumbed to the triple-digit temperatures. The exact circumstances of their deaths were not provided.

The rising death toll has prompted Mayor Francis Slay to create a coordinated severe weather response program that will include the city's health, human services, public safety and building departments.

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