Dried-Up: U.S. Senator Nelson Takes on the Drought
Nelson spent the afternoon with scientists learning what he can do to help those suffering from the severe drought.
Nelson spent the afternoon with scientists learning what he can do to help those suffering from the severe drought. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Lincoln, NE -- More than sixty percent of the entire country is feeling the pinch in what's being called a historic drought. Wednesday, U.S. Senator Ben Nelson spent the afternoon with scientists learning what he can do to help those suffering from the severe drought.
NOAA reported July was hottest month on record. Dr. Michael Hayes with the National Drought Mitigation Center said 88% of the region that grows corn is in a drought and 72% of the area known for cattle is also dried up.
While many of Nebraska's farmers continue to see their crops fail, Senator Nelson took on researchers at the nation's drought mitigation center. "When will you be in a position to provide the kind of information that will help farmers and ranchers as well," he questioned scientists.
"We need a lot more research is to have better predictive capabilities with this drought," responded Don Wilhite.
Nelson described parts of Nebraska as, "Golden Hills of California in a lot of areas cause the grass is now dying."
Senator Nelson said the answer to the drought isn't only rain. KMTV Action 3 News' Liz Dorland asked Nelson, "What do you plan on taking back from what you've learned to Washington?"
U.S. Senator replied, "I'm going to go back and go on the floor just as I did before we left and say it's time we get something meaningful done. you can not continue to ignore this situation and sit on the Farm Bill."
He's urging all farmers to call their friends in Ohio and have them put pressure on Speaker Boehner to put the Farm Bill to vote.
"The House took a rain check on the house five year Farm Bill," commented Nelson.
"I don't have much optimism for the next couple weeks or months really," said Dr. Michael Hayes.
Dr. Hayes is the Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln. He said the little showers that the state receives are simply not enough. He added, "What we need is good rainfall that replenishes the soil and that's going to be multiple events and inches in some of those events to catch-up."
It's news that is disheartening to Nelson, which is why it's important to get funding to the NDMC to help prepare for future droughts. "There's nothing we can do about making it rain so being able to mitigate it for the future is the best thing we can do," said Nelson.
President Obama authorized 30-million dollars in drought aid. Nelson will spend the rest of the week touring devastated farm fields and talking with farmers Short term forecasts suggest the drought will persist through early fall.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, firstname.lastname@example.org