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VOA慢速英语:US Drought Renews Debate on Biofuel

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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。

American officials have sharply reduced their expectations for this year's corn and soybean crops. Farmers in the Midwest are struggling with record heat and the worst drought in many years.

美国官员已经大幅降低他们对今年玉米和大豆作物的期望。美国中西部农民正与创纪录的高温以及多年来最为严重的旱灾做抗争。

The United States is the world's largest producer of corn and soybeans. Last Friday the Agriculture Department predicted that corn production would total 10.8 billion bushels this year. That was down seventeen percent from a prediction made just a month ago. And it was down thirteen percent from last year's level. The average yield per hectare could be the lowest in seventeen years.

美国是全球最大的玉米和大豆生产国。上周五,美国农业部预测,今年美国玉米产量将达到108亿蒲式耳(谷物计量单位)。这与仅仅一个月前的预测相比下降了17%。与去年的产量水平相比下降了13%。每公顷产量可能是17年以来新低。

At the same time, the government predicted that soybean production would be twelve percent lower than last year.

同时,政府预计大豆产量将比去年低12%。

The price of maize, which Americans call corn, has hit record levels. Corn is a major part of animal feed, so the price of meat, milk and eggs is also expected to climb.

玉米价格已经达到了创纪录的水平。玉米是动物饲料的主要组成部分,因此,肉类、牛奶和鸡蛋价格也有望攀升。

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says average food prices worldwide rose six percent in July. The American drought was a big reason. Gawain Kripke is a food price expert with the anti-hunger group Oxfam America.

联合国粮农组织表示,7月份全球平均食品价格上涨了6%,美国的干旱是一个很大的原因。高文·克里普克(Gawain Kripke)是反饥饿组织美国乐施会(Oxfam America)的一名食品价格专家。

GAWAIN KRIPKE: "Because the U.S. is such a massive food producer and food exporter, the impacts of a drought in the United States are likely to trickle out all around the world."

克里普克:“因为美国是如此重要的食品生产国和出口国,美国干旱的影响可能会渗透到世界各地。”

The situation has renewed the fight between food and fuel. About forty percent of the nation's corn crop goes into making ethanol. The production process leaves some of that in a form that can be fed to animals. Still, at least one-fourth of the American corn crop is now made into fuel.

这一形势已经重启食品与燃料之间的斗争。全美国大约40%的玉米产量被用来制造乙醇。乙醇生产过程会剩下一些可供喂养动物的东西。然而,至少1/4的美国玉米产量如今被制成了燃料。

The United States requires that part of its corn crop be used in the production of biofuels. The use of ethanol has grown as government requirements have increased. But the head of the FAO, writing in the Financial Times, called for "an immediate, temporary suspension" of that requirement. Jose Graziano da Silva said more of the American corn production could then be used as food or to feed animals.

美国要求这一部分玉米产量用于生产生物燃料。使用乙醇已成为政府强制要求并有所增强。但粮农组织负责人何塞·格拉齐亚诺·达·席尔瓦(Jose Graziano da Silva)在《金融时报》上撰文呼吁“立即暂时中止”这一政府强制要求。席尔瓦表示,这样更多美国的玉米产量就能用于食品或饲养牲畜。

The American livestock industry is also urging Congress to suspend the law that requires ethanol in gasoline. But corn farmer Alan Bennett says doing that would hurt his town.

美国畜牧行业也督促国会暂停要求在汽油中添加乙醇的法律。但种植玉米的农民艾伦·班尼特(Alan Bennett)表示,这样做会伤害他所在的镇子。

ALAN BENNETT: "It could bankrupt the ethanol plant. It is a huge deal. This country relies on ethanol for ten percent of its fuel supply. Ethanol is good for America."

班尼特:“这可能会使乙醇工厂破产。这是件大事。美国10%的燃料供应依赖于乙醇。乙醇对美国有利。”

A two thousand five law requires automobile fuel to contain ethanol. The growth of the ethanol industry and competition for corn have been helping parts of rural America that had been shrinking for years.

2005年实行的一项法律要求汽车燃料中含有乙醇。乙醇行业的增长及其对玉米的竞争对此前多年来一直萎缩的部分美国农村地区有所帮助。

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

American officials have sharply reduced their expectations for this year's corn and soybean crops. Farmers in the Midwest are struggling with record heat and the worst drought in many years.

The United States is the world's largest producer of corn and soybeans. Last Friday the Agriculture Department predicted that corn production would total 10.8 billion bushels this year. That was down seventeen percent from a prediction made just a month ago. And it was down thirteen percent from last year's level. The average yield per hectare could be the lowest in seventeen years.

\

Competition for corn from ethanol is raising the cost of feeding pigs

At the same time, the government predicted that soybean production would be twelve percent lower than last year.

The price of maize, which Americans call corn, has hit record levels. Corn is a major part of animal feed, so the price of meat, milk and eggs is also expected to climb.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says average food prices worldwide rose six percent in July. The American drought was a big reason. Gawain Kripke is a food price expert with the anti-hunger group Oxfam America.

GAWAIN KRIPKE: "Because the U.S. is such a massive food producer and food exporter, the impacts of a drought in the United States are likely to trickle out all around the world."

The situation has renewed the fight between food and fuel. About forty percent of the nation's corn crop goes into making ethanol. The production process leaves some of that in a form that can be fed to animals. Still, at least one-fourth of the American corn crop is now made into fuel.

The United States requires that part of its corn crop be used in the production of biofuels. The use of ethanol has grown as government requirements have increased. But the head of the FAO, writing in the Financial Times, called for "an immediate, temporary suspension" of that requirement. Jose Graziano da Silva said more of the American corn production could then be used as food or to feed animals.

The American livestock industry is also urging Congress to suspend the law that requires ethanol in gasoline. But corn farmer Alan Bennett says doing that would hurt his town.

ALAN BENNETT: "It could bankrupt the ethanol plant. It is a huge deal. This country relies on ethanol for ten percent of its fuel supply. Ethanol is good for America."

A two thousand five law requires automobile fuel to contain ethanol. The growth of the ethanol industry and competition for corn have been helping parts of rural America that had been shrinking for years.

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

___

Contributing: Mil Arcega and Steve Baragona


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