As dry conditions continue across most of the Midwest this fall—and with some forecasters predicting another dry winter—there is growing concern that the drought could extend into the 2013 growing season.
That possibility was the focus of a recent drought forum in Omaha, a meeting coordinated by the USDA. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley says he’s glad that the agency is taking a proactive approach to the issue.
“I’m glad that the Secretary of Agriculture is looking into this and getting grassroots opinion, because he’s going to be ahead of the curve,” Grassley says.
Even if the rains do come next spring, Grassley says, it will take a while to catch up.
“Seventy-five percent of Iowa is in extreme drought conditions—that means maybe 10 to 12 inches short of moisture,” he says. “It’s going to be hard to make up 10 or 12 inches of moisture and be back to square one.”
Grassley also agrees with Ag Secretary Vilsack that passage of a new farm bill is important in helping the federal government address drought concerns.