Federal aid is available for farmers in 1,016 drought-stricken counties across 26 states.
A federal disaster declaration will allow the farmers to apply for low-interest loans and it will reduce the penalties for grazing livestock on land set aside for conservation.
Farmers across the country have been hard-hit by the hot and dry weather that has persisted in many parts of the country since the growing season began.
As WFPL reported on Monday:
Half of Indiana’s and nearly half of Kentucky’s corn crop are in jeopardy, rated as “poor” or “very poor” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says once a crop is rated “very poor,” there’s not much that can be salvaged.
“Probably getting close to virtually gone. Very little yield potential left in that corn,” he said.
Hurt says the low corn and soybean harvests from this growing season will likely lead to higher food prices. He expects prices for cereal, wheat and bakery products to begin rising by the end of the summer. Commodities like meat, poultry and dairy—from animals that are often fed with corn—will likely rise by next year.