Concern grows among U.S. farmers as drought worsens

Concern grows among U.S. farmers as drought worsens
Concern grows among U.S. farmers as drought worsens
Farmers all over the country are looking to the skies and hoping for rain as the worst drought in 50 years weighs heavy on both their minds and their operations, driving optimism lower, Bloomberg reports.

According to the news source, the latest survey by DTN/The Progressive Farmer shows that although farmers are less optimistic about their current situations, they are, in fact, more hopeful about the future than they were five months ago. Respondents to the survey reported a score of 120.4 when it came to how they felt about their current farming conditions, down from 140.2 in March.

However, DTN noted that when it comes to how farmers feel about their operations one year from now, their sentiment came in at 98.2, up from 87.4 reported in the last survey. Another survey found farming conditions in the U.S. in the wake of the draught are now at 112.2, lower than February's reading.

"This year will be a tougher year for us," said Dietrich Kastens, who conceded he expects to have "significant losses" in his wheat, corn, sorghum and pea crops that sprawl across more than 10,000 acres outside Kansas. However, Kastens added that "the future looks good."

"I anticipate that farming will continue to see some pretty good times," he said.

According to the news source, the drought has been so bad the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared the problem a natural disaster in 1,800 counties in 35 states - more than half of the total in the entire country. But despite the devastating effects of the drought, agricultural producers are still expected to bring in incomes of as much as $122.2 billion - a record high spurred by all-time high corn and soybean prices.

According to the Des Moines Register, the hot, dry weather has continued in Iowa for the last week, causing a total percentage of of the state to be listed as being in "extreme drought" to rise from 58.3 percent to 62.2 percent.

The entire state is listed as in either severe or extreme drought, and received little to no rain that was brought up from the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Isaac. The state's neighbors Illinois and Indiana, however, received at least some precipitation from the slow-moving storm.