Deputy Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs at the Economic Development Administration (left); Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar (right), and Colleen Callahan of USDA prepare for the morning session at the drought conference. USDA photo.
Over 100 attendees joined Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs at the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and Colorado Agricultural Commissioner John Salazar at the second of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery efforts. The Colorado regional workshop was held at the state fairgrounds in Pueblo earlier this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with tribes, local, state and federal partners to hold the workshops. Federal partners include the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With over two-thirds of the country in drought, recovery efforts are underway and a new framework for delivery is being developed. Collaboration, coordination and communication were the prevalent themes at the Colorado workshop. These efforts will be needed at all levels of government and our ability to work together is crucial. Read more »
U.S. Winter Wheat Progress, October 14, 2012. (Click to enlarge image.)
Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, valid October 9, nearly two-thirds (63.55%) of the contiguous U.S. remains in drought. However, this is down nearly two percentage points from the late-September peak of 65.45%, as recent rains across the South and East have chipped away at the drought. At the same time, drought continues to gradually intensify across the northern Plains, where rangeland and pastures remain in dismal condition and winter wheat emergence has been hampered by a lack of soil moisture. Read more »
As the drought continues, USDA and other Federal agencies are doing all we can to help farmers, ranchers and communities. Unfortunately, USDA’s tools are limited today. Due to inaction by Congress, many programs authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill expired on October 1. Other aspects of the law will continue to expire in the coming months.
This brings tremendous uncertainty for rural families – particularly livestock producers who have lost access to disaster programs, and dairy producers who no longer have access to dairy support programs.
As we encourage Congress to pass a multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible, USDA continues our work to strengthen the rural economy. This includes continuing our record efforts to expand access to broadband internet in rural areas. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at the opening session of a Federal Drought Workshop in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. This was the first of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery effort.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in the kickoff of four regional workshops on drought recovery, the first of which was held Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska. More than 200 people gathered in Omaha to discuss ways to access existing resources and to offer ideas on new efforts to assist those impacted by drought. Read more »
For many producers and rural communities, the summer of 2012 has been defined by a record drought.
From the early days of this disaster, USDA has taken action to help. We’ve streamlined our disaster designation process, provided easier access to farm credit, opened more conservation lands for emergency haying and grazing, and much more.
Meanwhile, we continue to convene regular meetings of White House Rural Council to coordinate the Federal response and identify every effort we can take to provide additional help and assistance.
For example, the Small Business Administration and National Credit Union Administration have worked to increase emergency lending for small businesses. The Department of Interior has opened more Federal land for grazing. The Department of Transportation has taken measures to get more trucks on the road in the relief effort. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to preserve navigation routes on drought-stricken waterways. Read more »
U.S. Winter Wheat Progress - Percent emerged September 30, 2012. Click to enlarge image.
Based on data since 1995, U.S. corn and soybean harvests are proceeding at a record pace. By September 30, 2012, more than one-half (54%) of the corn had been harvested, nearly three times the five-year average of 20%. During the preceding 17 years, the record amount of U.S. corn harvested by the end of September had been 35% in 2000. Similarly, 41% of the soybeans had been harvested by September 30. Prior to this year, the record-setting soybean harvest pace by September 30 had also been 35% in 2000. Read more »