Vilsack tours Iowa drought conditions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vilsack tours Iowa drought conditions

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CENTER POINT (KWWL) -

Eric Cress started working his grandmother's farm in Center Point at age 15.

Now he's spent half his life in the fields, but this is the first time he's had to deal with a drought of this immensity,

"Last year we had the winds to deal with but at least we had a crop to go out there and get," said Cress. "This year I think we will see a crop in certain areas. Every field I think will be different."

Monday Cress showed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack how the drought has impacted the 2,000 acres Cress farms with his father.

Vilsack is traveling across Iowa to share assistance programs from the government, from expanding the Conservation Reserve Program to working with crop insurance companies.

"This impacts not just farm families but the folks who truck, the folks who work elevators, the folks who are in seed companies, who are employed in processing facilities," said Vilsack. "It just goes right through the whole process."

The little rain Iowa has gotten has been hit or miss, so that even on the same farm some areas are ok, while others are pretty much shot.

"The areas like this are probably a complete loss," said Cress. "As you can see, there's nothing here. But in lower areas I definitely think a rain will help."

If we don't get that big rain it's still too soon to predict how hard the nation's food industry will be impacted.

"We won't actually know until perhaps harvest the precise impact on the harvest," said Vilsack. "We could still have a decent crop in some areas of the country, but in many, many areas of the country the crops are devastated."

Vilsack also told farmers to contact their Congressmen and urge them to pass the Food, Farm, and Jobs Bill.

 

 

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