With large portions of the nation’s corn crop in danger of failing and with farmers across the country still struggling in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recent memory, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stepping up efforts to increase aid to farmers.
For the past several months, farmers across the country have experienced the worst drought in more than 20 years. Farmers in more than 26 states are currently facing severe to extreme droughts with crops across the country withering in the face of punishing weather. The drought is expected to cause billions of dollars of damage to the farm economy and will likely drive up the price of food over the next year.
In an effort to mitigate the damage done by the weather, the USDA has announced new financial support for drought-afflicted farmers. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced a reduction in interest rates for emergency disaster loans (from 3.75 percent to 2.2 percent). In addition, the USDA is making arraignments to help farmers having trouble paying their crop insurance premiums.
According to Tom Zacharias, the president of the National Crop Insurance Services, “In order to help farmers and ranchers through the hardship of the 2012 season, crop insurance companies are committed to working directly with their policyholders to make arrangements for delays on premium payments.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer