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VOA慢速英语:US Farmers Struggle With Drought

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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。

A drought across much of the United States is forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. Damage to corn and soybeans is already severe in the hardest-hit areas.

席卷美国大部分地区的干旱迫使农民做出艰难的决定。在重灾区,玉米和大豆受损害已经非常严重。

Alan Bowers Junior is a farmer in the state of Illinois in the Midwest.

艾伦·鲍尔斯(Alan Bowers)是伊利诺伊州中西部的农民。

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "You get up in the morning, and you think it might be another thirteen months before we get a paycheck. The corn and soybean crop is our paycheck."

鲍尔斯:“早上起床,就觉得可能还得再过13个月才能拿到我们的薪水。玉米和大豆作物就是我们的薪水。”

The corn on his farm is so dry, the stalks break apart just by touching them. The maize is unusable. So in the middle of July, Alan Bowers decided to cut down his crop to avoid a total loss.

他农场的玉米非常干燥,一碰玉米秆都掉了,玉米就不能用了。所以在7月中旬,他决定把庄稼都砍掉,以避免彻底损失。

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "We are making what they call corn silage out of this for the animals, for the cows. And if you wait till it's completely dried up, it won't even make suitable feed for the animals."

鲍尔斯:“我们正在用这些荒废的玉米给动物还有奶牛做他们所谓的玉米青贮饲料。如果你等到这完全干透,就不适合给动物做饲料了。”

Alan Bowers and his wife, Lori, are hoping for a small insurance settlement to help them pay their bills until next year.

鲍尔斯和他的妻子,洛莉(Lori),希望能拿到一笔小的保险赔偿,以帮助他们支付明年前的帐单。

LORI BOWERS: "People don't realize we have no boss and we have nobody to help us. And it's tough. You have to work together. You have to work with a husband and a wife and family, and together try to work through it."

洛莉·鲍尔斯:“大家没有意识到,我们没有老板,也没有人帮我们。这很残酷。你只能和丈夫或妻子还有家人一起努力,一起闯过难关。”

The Bowers could also lose their soybeans to the record high temperatures and lack of rain in the worst drought in more than half a century.

在创纪录的高温天气和50年多年一遇的严重干旱少雨情况下,鲍尔斯一家的大豆可能也会有所损失。

And Alan Bowers says if next year is anything like this, the farm itself may not survive. The farm has been in his family for four generations.

鲍尔斯说,如果明年还是这样的话,农场可能无法生存下去。这个农场在他们家族中已经经历了四代人。

The drought is reducing the depth of the Mississippi River, the nation's longest and most economically important waterway. Last year, heavy rains flooded the banks along parts of the Mississippi. This year, the level is so low, shipwrecks normally hidden underwater can be clearly seen.

干旱使得密西西比河水位降低,密西西比河是全美最长,最经济的重要水路。去年,大雨淹没了密西西比河的部分河岸。今年的水位这么低,连平时隐藏在水下的船只残骸都可以清楚地看到。

Jasen Brown is a hydraulic engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.

杰森·布朗(Jasen Brown)是陆军工程兵部队的水利工程师。

JASEN BROWN: "So there's a lot of money at stake for these farmers, and there's other commodities that are coming down the river as well. It's not just grain, but it's also some chemicals that are coming down the river. Coal is coming down the river. Various different things like that."

布朗:“所以,对这些农民来说,大量的资金都会受到威胁。还有很多物资也要从这条水路通过,不仅是粮食,还有化学品,煤以及其他多种物资。”

Sixty percent of all grain exported from the United States travels on barges along the Mississippi.

从美国出口的60%的粮食都要经密西西比河运输。

An Army Corps of Engineers survey ship called the MV Pathfinder looks for places along the river that are not deep enough for traffic. Crews then either dredge the sites to make them deeper or mark them with warning buoys. Terry Bequette, the ship's captain, says companies have to lighten the loads of their barges when the water level is low.

一艘名为“MV探路者号”的陆军工程兵部队测量船在搜寻沿河深度不适合航行的区域,随后船员要么挖掘该地点让航道变深,要么做好警示标记。船长特里·贝奎特(Terry Bequette)说,水位太低的时候航运公司只能减轻运载量。

TERRY BEQUETTE: "It's low and it's bad, but it's not the end-of-the-world bad. The industry just lightens their loads and hopes for the best."

贝奎特:“水位很低,情况很糟,但还不是世界末日那样糟。航运公司只能减少运载量并祈祷了。”

A new American Meteorological Society study links climate change to a drought last year in Texas and some other extreme weather events. Natural conditions played a part. But the study found that human activity made the Texas drought twenty times more likely than in the nineteen sixties.

美国气象学会(American Meteorological Society)一项新的研究把气候变化与去年发生在德克萨斯州的干旱和一些恶劣天气事件联系起来。自然条件发挥了部分作用。但该研究发现,人类活动使得德州干旱比上世纪60年代严重20倍。

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

A drought across much of the United States is forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. Damage to corn and soybeans is already severe in the hardest-hit areas.

Alan Bowers Junior is a farmer in the state of Illinois in the Midwest.

\

Drought-damaged cornfield in the United States

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "You get up in the morning, and you think it might be another thirteen months before we get a paycheck. The corn and soybean crop is our paycheck."

The corn on his farm is so dry, the stalks break apart just by touching them. The maize is unusable. So in the middle of July, Alan Bowers decided to cut down his crop to avoid a total loss.

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "We are making what they call corn silage out of this for the animals, for the cows. And if you wait till it's completely dried up, it won't even make suitable feed for the animals."

Alan Bowers and his wife, Lori, are hoping for a small insurance settlement to help them pay their bills until next year.

LORI BOWERS: "People don't realize we have no boss and we have nobody to help us. And it's tough. You have to work together. You have to work with a husband and a wife and family, and together try to work through it."

The Bowers could also lose their soybeans to the record high temperatures and lack of rain in the worst drought in more than half a century.

And Alan Bowers says if next year is anything like this, the farm itself may not survive. The farm has been in his family for four generations.

The drought is reducing the depth of the Mississippi River, the nation's longest and most economically important waterway. Last year, heavy rains flooded the banks along parts of the Mississippi. This year, the level is so low, shipwrecks normally hidden underwater can be clearly seen.

Jasen Brown is a hydraulic engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.

JASEN BROWN: "So there's a lot of money at stake for these farmers, and there's other commodities that are coming down the river as well. It's not just grain, but it's also some chemicals that are coming down the river. Coal is coming down the river. Various different things like that."

Sixty percent of all grain exported from the United States travels on barges along the Mississippi.

An Army Corps of Engineers survey ship called the MV Pathfinder looks for places along the river that are not deep enough for traffic. Crews then either dredge the sites to make them deeper or mark them with warning buoys. Terry Bequette, the ship's captain, says companies have to lighten the loads of their barges when the water level is low.

TERRY BEQUETTE: "It's low and it's bad, but it's not the end-of-the-world bad. The industry just lightens their loads and hopes for the best."

A new American Meteorological Society study links climate change to a drought last year in Texas and some other extreme weather events. Natural conditions played a part. But the study found that human activity made the Texas drought twenty times more likely than in the nineteen sixties.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. To read and listen to more stories for people learning English, go to chinavoa.com. I'm Jim Tedder.

___

Contributing: Kane Farabaugh and Rosanne Skirble


内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8016-225631-1.html
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