the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
in parts of the American Midwest face a difficult recovery after the worst
flooding in fifteen years. Storms that flooded rivers and drowned crops have
been blamed for at least twenty-four deaths since late May.
floods displaced tens of thousands of people in several states across America's
agricultural heartland. There are concerns that crop losses could push
already-high food prices even higher.
lands in some states could be mistaken for lakes. The mighty Mississippi River
broke through or flowed over the tops of dirt levees in Iowa, Illinois and
floods hit hardest in Iowa, the leading corn state and also the top soybean
producer last year. Thirty-eight centimeters of rain fell on some cropland over
a two-week period. Governor Chet Culver has declared most counties as disaster
areas. Iowa officials have said that crop damage in that state could reach
three billion dollars.
United States Department of Agriculture is expected to announce estimates of
crop losses in the coming days. The department is being urged to let farmers
plant corn on land set aside for conservation.
farmers may replant corn. Others may replace corn with soybeans. What farmers
do now depends partly on the extent of damage to the land. Floodwaters in some
areas may contain industrial waste or other harmful substances.
weather does during the rest of the growing season will also be important.
delays have left soybean planting behind the five-year average in twelve of
eighteen major soybean-producing states. Other crops including wheat, rice and
oats have also suffered.
Burlington, Iowa, as many as fifty trains normally pass through the city every
day, mostly carrying coal or passengers. But Burlington is quiet now until
water is off the rails and workers can inspect for damage. City Manager Doug
Worden says Burlington took steps to prevent severe property damage after the
record floods of fifteen years ago.
the Midwest deals with recent flooding, the nation's top agricultural state,
California, faces increasingly dry conditions. On June fourth, Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought, the first such action since
nineteen ninety-one. The order followed two years of below-average rainfall and
other limitations on water supplies.
that’s the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson
and Jill Moss.