US: Feds Declare Drought Emergency Across 1,000 Counties, Worst Crop Conditions In 24 Years
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that farmers in those states can qualify for low-interest emergency loans as of Thursday. The USDA said it streamlined its disaster designation process, and the counties are designated as being in severe drought because of eight-consecutive weeks of drought during the growing season.
Earlier, the USDA released its crop report, showing sharply reduced expectations for this year’s harvest and a 12 percent decline in the expected corn crop yield.
The USDA had projected this year’s crop would be a bumper harvest, yielding 166 bushels per acre. It pared that expectation back to 146 bushels, the lowest in nine years. It now expects a total crop of 12.97 billion bushels, the third-largest on record but down from what would have been an all-time high of 14.8 billion bushels.
Grain prices jumped on the initial 8:30 a.m. EDT crop report, but sold off as rumors swirled ahead of the USDA announcement on drought disaster. Traders said there was a rumor the USDA had an announcement coming that would be a negative for grain prices. Futures prices stayed close to their lows after the announcement.” Read more.