Drought Aid Touches 1 Million Acres, USDA Says

October 23, 2012 04:58 AM

Aid to drought-affected U.S. farmers has topped $27 million and reached more than 1 million acres of farmland, the USDA has announced. Nearly 2,000 producers in 22 states benefited from the funding made available by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"The conservation investments made by these producers today will continue to improve the resilience of their lands in the face of drought as well as other natural events that are out of their control," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "The farmers and ranchers that have voluntarily implemented conservation improvements have taken an important step toward building drought resistance into their operations."

Money from USDA helped farmers implement practices such as conservation tillage, nutrient management and prescribed grazing.

Eight states including Illinois, Indiana and Michigan remain in extreme drought, which means farmers are experiencing major crop losses, widespread water shortages and water restrictions.

Meanwhile, parts of 14 states including Iowa, Nebraska and Texas are in exceptional drought. That means farmers are experiencing losses of crops and pastures, as well as water shortages.

A breakdown of aid by state is available on the USDA website. Details about eligibility for drought assistance also are available.

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