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-- drought now gripping almost two thirds of this country.
The worst we've seen in the US and more than half a century and there is no relief in sight in the coming weeks we've seen it.
There commodities we keep talking about that the two parts of the country that Peter -- of the big interview -- standing -- -- the Agriculture Secretary Peter.
That's right that -- -- -- a lot Tom Vilsack joins us right now welcome to Fox Business a secretary.
Wanna talk about the drought and how it's hitting the economy and on the farm bill that's in congress let's start off.
With the -- get briefed every day I'm -- constantly about it what is the latest that you can share with us the latest is that we're still obviously taking a look at some very serious weather conditions severe heat and lack of -- -- good part of the midwest the United States.
There has been scattered.
Showers in some parts of the states that have been affected by this -- but we're still looking at thirteen hundred counties.
That aren't serious shape -- it's about roughly a third of the counties and states give any idea from -- weather team here meteorologists about how long this will last.
Not for sure we look at -- this I would recognize -- so going to be some extreme he has set -- circumstances situations in the midwest.
We're hoping for -- a little rain the first part of next week but you know it's the question is will it be enough and we'll be right places.
And will be too late.
It's it's a very very serious circumstance.
Fortunately for the country we had a record number of acres planted.
And fortunately we have technologies in and resilient agricultural.
And will we just really won't know what the extent of the losses for sure will be until after the -- arms deceived technology -- drought resistant crops are helping to mitigate the losses what about the impact on the economy.
Well one out of every twelve jobs is connected their culture we have record here in -- last year we saw our record here in farm implement shipments so obviously to the extent -- before concerned about.
Whether or not they're gonna -- may get through this situation that's why it's important for us to get as much assistance and help to these folks -- we can.
USDA's tool -- to somewhat limited.
-- were asking congress to.
Act very quickly on getting the food -- jobs bill through the process it.
House leadership's got to put it on the board get a vote put into conference and get these iron out the these differences are now.
The reason for this is the disaster programs that would have been in place under the 2008 farm bill expired last year September 30.
They've not been revived otherwise we would have been able to do what we've done in the past provide assistance to livestock producers in particular.
We don't have those tools right now we need to back for consumers where food prices hadn't.
Food prices in the short term may be headed down a bit because folks may be considering liquidating some of their livestock but over the long home -- likely see some increase in food costs.
Here's the interest think it's a story though that farmers only get fourteen cents of every food dollar that goes to the grocery store.
So even though food prices might increase significantly commodity prices rather might increase significantly in May not have that much of an impact on food.
Maybe -- point 1% increase just last month we actually saw a decrease in the food inflation rate.
Were currently estimating somewhere between two and a half to three and a half percent food inflation this year.
That may be adjusted to bid but again when you're only getting fourteen cents a numbers -- dollar this chronic president to -- Really really high for -- to be a significant impact on food.
Secretary hold that thought we're gonna finish our live portion here on our network and -- -- McConnell we are now going to go over to our website to continue this discussion with the Agriculture Secretary and we'll be streaming live over there is so.
Click away for their -- -- just -- in continuing hearing a parent what else is secretary -- to say on this and other issues that's not you.
Topic no doubt the drought across saw a big part of the country Peter Barnes and Washington.
More on the mark.