OTTAWA, Kan. - The 2012 drought is the worst to hit the United States since 1988.
In Kansas, the USDA has designated every county as a natural disaster area due to damage and losses caused by the drought and excessive heat.
Kansas farmer John McFarland grows corn, wheat and soybean. He said this is the most devastating drought he has experienced in his life.
“The ears are half filled, very light test weight, we are getting docked 60 cents a bushel because it is not weighing enough,” McFarland said.
McFarland and several other farmers gathered in Ottawa, Kan., Saturday morning with Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. Jenkins toured several drought-stricken areas and said she hears the farmers concerns.
“The first thing they want is rain," Congresswoman Jenkins said. "That is above my pay grade. The second thing is they want is to insure that the safety program from the Federal Government remains intact and will be there so they can plant again next near."
Right now, lawmakers are discussing a five year house farm bill that could help farmers, but if faces a lot of opposition from lawmakers.
Director of the Kansas Corn Growers Association Jere White said in these tough times, farmers need help.
“It's not just the farmer and their bank account, but it is their ability to get loans next year to put a crop in," White said. "It is being able to work with their input suppliers and so it is a huge concern."
White said there needs to be a farm bill in place that provides consistency in these unpredictable times.
Congresswoman Jenkins said the fall back plan is to create a one year extension on the current disaster relief plain if the five year plan is not adopted.
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