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Poll: What Should Be Done About U.S. Drought?

Corn and soybean crops are being hit hard by the worst U.S. drought in 50 years.

The worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years has caused alarms around the world as corn and soybean crops are threatened and could impact the world's food supply, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

After a record-setting hot July, August has been mild by comparison. The Chicago Tribune reported that although Illinois still is in a drought, only 8 percent of the state remains in an "exceptional drought."

However, even with improving conditions in August, the U.S. corn crop is supposed to be down 13 percent and the soybean crop down 12 percent, The Washington Post reported.

The drought and extreme conditions in July have raised several issues.

For example, the U.S. mandates the use of corn-based ethanol to reduce U.S. reliance of foreign oil. As much as 40 percent of the corn crop will go toward the production of ethanol, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The U.S. is mandated to use 13.2 billion gallons of ethonal this year and 13.6 billion next year. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said waiving the requirement would have little impact on food prices and harm investment in biofuel, the Washington Post reported.

Another issue being raised is whether the drought is a problem caused by climate change. The Chicago Tribune reported that droughts such as the one this year could drisrupt food supplies and lead to price spikes.

Also, the federal government is planning an emergency purchase of $170 million in pork, lamb, chicken and catfish, the Christian Science Monitor reported. The money will come from an emergency fund and is designed to help livestock farmers.

Molly August 20, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Unfortunately there are loopholes in any subsidy program that people will take advantage of. Once farm land is lost the odds of it returning to a working farm is slim. The US has lost many small farms to development and to large "family" read corporation farms.
RationalTht August 20, 2012 at 03:12 AM
@RB - no idea where you get your "facts" - most of the WI farmers I know are hard-core democrats.
Pat Craig August 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Here's a thought. It is a scientific fact that droughts only occur in summer. Justg have the government pass a law against the temperature going above 72 degrees and another mandating at least .25" of rain per week. Look how well that thinking works regarding guns in Chicago.
Guido McGinty August 20, 2012 at 03:42 PM
"U.S. ethanol production actually cut wholesale gas prices by $1.09 a gallon last year" I spy a fake number. Half accounting borders on fraud. http://junkscience.com/2012/05/17/marlo-lewis-ethanol-reduced-gas-prices-by-1-09g-or-didnt-you-notice/
Raymond Prusak August 20, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Romney and his Fellow believers need to pray for rain with a little bit more urgency rather than posthumously baptizing the dead. After all man!, priorities are priorities. Next, we can pray for an end to secular humanism. God is probably in need of attention as is any type a male. "One louder", on the volume as they did in Spinal Tap.

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