Branstad To Hold Forum On Iowa Drought

Branstad To Hold Forum On Iowa Drought

Iowa Governor will convene public meeting in Mt. Pleasant on July 17 to discuss Iowa's drought situation; to include state and federal officials.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced July 11 they will hold a two-hour public meeting to discuss the severe dry conditions and the D1 Drought situation that have plagued Iowa this summer. The event will be held Tuesday morning July 17 at the Mt. Pleasant High School gymnasium, and members of the public are encouraged and welcome to attend.

The public meeting will feature officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the USDA. Outside expert testimony will feature agricultural groups and environmental experts.

As the worst drought in nearly 25 years continues to take a toll on the Corn Belt, almost a third of the nation's corn crop in 2012 is showing damage.

The discussion will include the latest information and tracking metrics, how coordination is being handled between the state and federal levels, and potential action steps that may be taken in order to ensure Iowa's needs are met. The public is invited to come and share their thoughts and concerns.

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Details of the upcoming "Drought in Iowa" meeting are as follows:

Tuesday, July 18, 2012 at 9 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds hold public meeting on abnormally dry weather conditions that are seriously affecting the state this summer, including the D1 Drought conditions that are beginning to severely affect certain parts of Iowa. The meeting will be held at Mt. Pleasant High School  gymnasium, 2104 South Grand Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

"We want to get as much information about the actual conditions that are going on out there in the state," says Branstad. "We've had a very dry spring and summer, and it's becoming a very critical situation."

As the worst drought in nearly 25 years continues to take a toll on the Corn Belt, almost a third of the nation's corn crop in 2012 is showing damage.

This is public meeting and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend

Branstad says he wants to hear from farmers directly about their experiences with this summer's continued hot and dry weather. "We thought it would be good to have this meeting to gather information on what the situation is, and also to give the public, farm organizations and farmers an opportunity to share what they see going on regarding these extremely dry conditions in our state. We want to hear ideas on how to cope and any other recommendations that people have, too."

Branstad recalled holding similar events during his stint as governor in the 1980s, including a big meeting in Bloomfield that drew more than 800 concerned farmers. Iowa's crops are now in a crucial period, he notes and will need rain soon to avoid serious problems. "Timely rains can still make a difference, but every day that goes by, I think we're going to see more deterioration in terms of what the yield is going to be in 2012," says Branstad.

Dealing with Disasters: 2012 Drought—website is updated to help farmers and others cope with the dry weather situation

Iowa State University Extension officials announced July 11 that they have updated the ISU Extension and Outreach "Dealing with Disasters" webpage. It has resources for all Iowans who are dealing with drought. You will find resources related to crops, livestock, stress, home and yard, financial concerns and business concerns. ISU will update the page with additional resources as they become available. See http://www.extension.iastate.edu/topic/recovering-disasters.

TAGS: USDA Extension
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