PLEDGE NOW
Severe Drought Hits The U.S.

Severe drought is hammering crops in the Midwest and beyond. 1,000 counties in 26 states declared disaster areas. We’ll check in.

Steve Niedbalski is seen chopping down his drought and heat stricken corn for feed Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Nashville, Ill. Farmers in parts of the Midwest, dealing with the worst drought in nearly 25 years, have given up hope for a corn crop and are mowing over their fields and baling the heat withered plants for livestock feed. (AP)

Steve Niedbalski is seen chopping down his drought and heat stricken corn for feed Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Nashville, Ill. Farmers in parts of the Midwest, dealing with the worst drought in nearly 25 years, have given up hope for a corn crop and are mowing over their fields and baling the heat withered plants for livestock feed. (AP)

I’m a farm kid, born and raised.  I’ve never heard my dad brought to the brink of tears by the weather.  I did last night, on the phone to Illinois.  He’d just driven 40 miles through corn fields devastated by drought.  Mile after mile of corn fields with no corn.  Just dry, spindly, heat-blasted stalks.  Worthless.  It made him, he said, feel almost physically ill.

More than half the country is in drought now.  Worst in half a century.  It’s brought fire to the Rockies.  Parch to Texas.  Now it’s tearing into the corn belt and cattle herds.

This hour, On Point:  the great drought hits the nation’s breadbasket.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University.

Don Duval, farmer and  president of the White County Farm Bureau in Carmi, IL.

Mark Svoboda, climatologist, is the Monitoring Program Area Leader for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Al Davis, owner of the O L O Ranch in Hyannis, Nebraska.

Maps

Here’s the latest map of drought conditions in the U.S. from the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center

 

From Tom’s Reading List

Businessweek “A worst-in-a-generation drought from Indiana to Arkansas to California is damaging crops, rural economies, and threatening to drive food prices to record levels. Agriculture, though a small part of the $15.5 trillion U.S. economy, had been one of the most resilient industries in the past three years as the country struggled to recover from the recession.”

New York Times “Scattered rain fell in parts of the Midwest on Friday, but it was not enough to provide relief to farmers struggling to salvage crops scorched by worsening drought conditions and ranchers worried about feeding livestock.”

Des Moines Register “A new drought condition map showing widened coverage of the 2012 drought across the Corn Belt sent corn prices near $7 per bushel and soybeans near $15 when trading began on the Chicago Board of Trade after the holiday hiatus.”

CBS News “Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said in its monthly State of the Climate drought report. That’s the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 1, 2015
In this June 26, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration will propose requiring overtime pay for workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week, three individuals familiar with the plan said Monday, June 29. (AP)

Five million workers may qualify for overtime pay. We’ll look at the plan and the pushback.

Jul 1, 2015
In this file photo, a statue stands at the entrance to the women-only Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y., Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  (AP)

Babies born in prison. The numbers are growing. What’s best for baby? We’ll take a closer look.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

 
Jun 30, 2015
People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the plant, bottom right, reading ''NO'' in Athens, Tuesday. It's crunch time for Greece, with the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Greece closes its banks as debt negotiations reach a crisis point. We hear the latest on the debt crisis and its threat to the Eurozone.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments