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From Futile to Fertile: Midwest Farmers, Federal Partners Address Drought

Farmer Doug Goyings examines the drought-damaged corn on his farm in Paulding County, OH on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. USDA photo by Christina Reed.

Farmer Doug Goyings examines the drought-damaged corn on his farm in Paulding County, OH on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. USDA photo by Christina Reed.

The 2012 drought dried up more than just crops. For many U.S. farmers, it also dried up savings, material resources, and perhaps saddest of all, hope.

“The drought of course impacted our crop yields tremendously,” said veteran Ohio dairy farmer Leon Weaver. “Corn yields were about 50 percent of normal. Dairymen are exiting this business in droves.”

But for Weaver and nearly one hundred other Ohio, Michigan and Indiana farmers who gathered recently in rural Henry County, Ohio, hope was a commodity worth trading as they shared, in roundtable fashion, their ideas on how to access resources and rise from the dust. Read more »

USDA’s 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum – Feb. 21-22, 2013

USDA’s 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Managing Risk in the 21st Century,” will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on Feb. 21-23.  Speakers will include USDA policymakers and 85 distinguished experts in the fields of international trade, insurance, forestry, conservation, risk management, transportation, energy, nutrition, local foods, and food safety. The Forum continues to feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks. Read more »