We've seen crops shriveling in Siouxland farm fields. Now, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is calling on Congress for help.
Vilsack says Congress needs to pass a five-year, $500-billion farm and nutrition bill, or approve additional disaster relief. It' has passed the Senate, but there's been no vote in the House.
A third of U.S. counties are already drought disaster areas, and are eligible for federal help. The cost of losing crops will be passed to consumers. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary says, "We would anticipate in the short term actually food prices for beef, poultry, pork may go down a bit, but over time they will rise. We will probably see those, those higher prices later this year, first part of next year."
Vilsack says the price of processed foods-- impacted by crop yields-- would likely take place next year. He warns consumers to be aware of food price gouging. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary says, "If in fact people are beginning to see food price increases now, it is not in any way shape or form related to the drought and we should be very careful to keep an eye on that to make sure that people do not take advantage of a very difficult and painful situation."
The National Climatic Data Center says the U.S. is in the midst of the worst drought in 56 years. June was the third-driest month in at least 118 years.
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