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VOA慢速英语:US Faces Worst Drought in 56 Years

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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

The United States is suffering its worst drought in almost sixty years. Moderate to extreme dry conditions spread to fifty-five percent of the country in June. That was the most since December of nineteen fifty-six.

美国正遭受近60年来最严重的干旱。六月份,中等到极度干旱蔓延到了美国境内55%的地区。这是自1956年12月以来最为严重的情况。

The National Climatic Data Center also says high temperatures in June added to the warmest twelve-month period on record. Recordkeeping began in eighteen ninety-five.

美国国家气候数据中心还表示,六月的高温名列有史以来最热的12个月之列。记录保存始于1895年。

The drought map showed that conditions improved in the Southeast in June compared to May. But they intensified from the Midwest to the Great Plains and much of the West. Predictions through the end of October suggest that the drought is likely to improve in areas of the Southwest and Southeast. But the drought is expected to continue or intensify in large parts of the country.

干旱地图显示,与五月相比,东南部六月份的形势已经有所改善。但从中西部到大平原和美国西部多数地区,形势有所加剧。截至10月底的预测表明,西南和东南地区旱情可能会改善。但美国

大部分地区旱情预计会持续或加大。

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with President Obama. Mr. Vilsack says the drought has severely affected corn and soybean crops. The United States is the world's leading producer of maze and soybeans.

上周,农业部长汤姆·维尔萨克(Tom Vilsack)与奥巴马总统会晤。维尔萨克先生说,干旱已经严重影响到了玉米和大豆产量。美国是世界领先的玉米和大豆生产商。

TOM VILASK: " Thirty-eight percent of our corn crop as of today is rated as poor to very poor, thirty percent of our soybeans, poor to very poor."

维尔萨克:“自今日起,我们38%的玉米产量被评级为差到极差,30%的大豆被评级为差到极差。”

Most of the affected states are in the southern half of the country. But officials said farmlands in the north are now drying up as well.

受影响的大多数州位于美国的南部。但有关官员表示,北部农田现在也日益干涸。

The drought has pushed up prices for corn and soybeans. Both are used in food production and for animal feed. Last week the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported a twenty percent jump in maize and wheat prices over the past three weeks.

干旱推高了玉米和大豆价格。这两样都用于粮食生产和动物饲料。上周联合国粮农组织报告称,过去3周,玉米和小麦价格涨了20%。

Wheat prices are up as hot, dry weather affects production in the Black Sea region.

由于黑海地区的炎热和干燥天气影响产量,小麦价格也在上涨。

In the United States, ranchers may quickly reduce the size of their herds of animals rather than pay higher feed prices to keep raising them. That increased supply of meat would reduce meat prices in the short-term. But those prices could increase several months from now.

在美国,农场主可能迅速减少其牲畜群的规模,而不是支付更高的饲料价格继续喂养它们。这些增加的肉类供应可能会短期降低肉类价格。但数月后这类价格可能会上涨。

Mr. Vilsack said the overall effect of the drought is hard to predict. Some areas are getting rain, and drought-resistant seeds have helped crops grow well in some areas.

维尔萨克先生表示,旱灾的总体影响难以预料。一些地区正在下雨,还有一些地区抗旱种子也有助于作物生长良好。

President Obama has cut the interest rate on disaster loans for farmers and made it easier for affected areas to receive government financial assistance. At the same time, farmers are waiting to see what Congress does with the farm bill, a major piece of legislation renewed every five years.

奥巴马总统已经降低了农民灾害贷款的利率,并使得受影响地区获得政府财政援助更为容易。与此同时,农民们正等着看国会如何处理每5年更新的农业法案。

The Senate has passed a version that would end direct payments to farmers but help pay for crop insurance. The plan would save money. But the House of Representative has passed different legislation, and Congress needs to reach a compromise. The current farm bill ends at the end of September.

参议院已经通过了一个农业法案的版本,该版本会停止对农民的直接补偿,但会帮助农民支付农作物保险。该计划将可以省钱。但众议院通过了不同的法案,国会必须达成妥协。当前的农业法案将于九月份终止。

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

The United States is suffering its worst drought in almost sixty years. Moderate to extreme dry conditions spread to fifty-five percent of the country in June. That was the most since December of nineteen fifty-six.

The National Climatic Data Center also says high temperatures in June added to the warmest twelve-month period on record. Recordkeeping began in eighteen ninety-five.

\

Corn stalks struggling from lack of rain and a heat in Farmingdale, Illinois

The drought map showed that conditions improved in the Southeast in June compared to May. But they intensified from the Midwest to the Great Plains and much of the West. Predictions through the end of October suggest that the drought is likely to improve in areas of the Southwest and Southeast. But the drought is expected to continue or intensify in large parts of the country.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with President Obama. Mr. Vilsack says the drought has severely affected corn and soybean crops. The United States is the world's leading producer of maze and soybeans.

TOM VILASK: " Thirty-eight percent of our corn crop as of today is rated as poor to very poor, thirty percent of our soybeans, poor to very poor."

Most of the affected states are in the southern half of the country. But officials said farmlands in the north are now drying up as well.

The drought has pushed up prices for corn and soybeans. Both are used in food production and for animal feed. Last week the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported a twenty percent jump in maize and wheat prices over the past three weeks.

Wheat prices are up as hot, dry weather affects production in the Black Sea region.

\

The U.S. Drought Monitor map created from data released on June 26, 2012

In the United States, ranchers may quickly reduce the size of their herds of animals rather than pay higher feed prices to keep raising them. That increased supply of meat would reduce meat prices in the short-term. But those prices could increase several months from now.

Mr. Vilsack said the overall effect of the drought is hard to predict. Some areas are getting rain, and drought-resistant seeds have helped crops grow well in some areas.

President Obama has cut the interest rate on disaster loans for farmers and made it easier for affected areas to receive government financial assistance. At the same time, farmers are waiting to see what Congress does with the farm bill, a major piece of legislation renewed every five years.

The Senate has passed a version that would end direct payments to farmers but help pay for crop insurance. The plan would save money. But the House of Representative has passed different legislation, and Congress needs to reach a compromise. The current farm bill ends at the end of September.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. I'm Jim Tedder.

___

Contributing: Kane Farabaugh


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