Thermometer-popping temperatures and bone-dry conditions are plaguing over 60% of the country right now as farmers and ranchers are dealing with the worst drought in 56 years.
Calling the drought "historic" and the impact on farmers "profound," President Obama announced yesterday that $30 million in relief aid will be given to individuals and businesses.
However, the president stressed that this likely won't be enough to help out suffering farmers, and he's calling for Congress to pass a $500 billion farm bill.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack explains the measures the White House is implementing and explains how long it will be before farmers begin to see some relief on Starting Point this morning.
Stressing the severity of the drought, Vilsak says "Many farmers are in fact going to lose basically their entire crop... We need some disaster assistance and relief and the only way we're going to be able to get the full scope of disaster assistance is if the House of Representatives completes work on a farm bill and it works out the differences between the Senate and the House in terms of comprehensive disaster assistance and the farm bill."
Christine Romans talks with a 92-year-old farmer in Iowa who says the current drought is worse than back in 1936.
Christine Romans get a closer look at how the drought is affecting corn farmers in Davenport, Iowa.
Rob Marciano takes an interactive look at the worsening drought and the drastically low Mississippi River.
The worst drought in 50 years is taking its toll on 29 states, as well as the national economy. Nearly 1300 counties across America have officially been declared drought disaster zones, with very little rain in the forecast for the next few days.
Acorrding to the USDA, 38% of the corn crop has been rated poor or very poor, while 30% of the soybean crop has been rated poor or very poor.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks to CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" this morning about the nation-wide drought plaguing the United States. Sec. Vilsack met with President Obama Wednesday and says the President supports passing legislation that would provide aid to American farm and ranch families.
Sec. Vilsack says, "We've got thousands and thousands of farm families and ranch families across the country who are suffering today, in 29 states. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is an American issue."
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D-Ill) on how the drought is affecting crops in Ill. and what the state is doing to help farmers.
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