The United States is in the midst of the worst drought in decades, and the dry weather and soaring temperatures are taking a toll on people living and working in Ohio west to California and Texas north to the Dakotas. Farmers have watched their corn wither and their cattle go hungry. Homeowners have seen their lawns turn brown and gardens wilt. Communities in the Midwest that rarely experience water shortages have enacted restrictions, and businesses are looking for ways to stay afloat as sales fall off. Here are a few of their stories:
Brad Schwab, with the Illinois field office of the USDA says the results are, as you can expect, terrible.
Almost a third of the nation’s corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought.
Ag officials warn cattle grazing on some drought-stressed plants are at risk of falling ill or even dying.
Much of the corn crop could be past the point of no return, says Mark Schleusener with the USDA..
Monsanto says its fiscal third-quarter net income soared 35 percent.
The half-trillion-dollar bill setting farm policy into the future outlines dramatic changes in how farmers are protected from financial and natural disasters.
Despite the lack of rain, Southern Illinois’ corn is the tallest in the state.
Economist Ernie Goss says even though the May numbers are positive, the region’s economic growth will slow in the months ahead.
Weather conditions around Illinois and Missouri last week were nearly perfect for planting.