Click here to read Vilsack's statement to the press.

During the week ending July 22, the portion of the U.S. corn crop rated in very poor to poor condition climbed to 45 percent, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Soybeans rated very poor to poor rose to 35 percent.

Such ratings for both commodities have increased for seven consecutive weeks. During the same period, from June 3 to July 22, the portion of the U.S. corn rated good to excellent fell from 72 to 26 percent. Soybeans rated good to excellent tumbled from 65 to 31 percent.

The current corn and soybean ratings represent the lowest conditions at any time of year since 1988. At the same time, more than half (55 percent) of the nation's pastures and rangeland are rated in very poor or poor condition.

Click here to read about other steps that President Obama and Secretary Vilsack have made to help farmers and ranchers recover from the current conditions.


The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to designate disaster counties to make disaster assistance programs available to farmers and ranchers. During times of need, USDA has historically responded to disasters across the country by providing direct support, disaster assistance, technical assistance, and access to credit.

USDA's low-interest emergency loans have helped producers recover from losses due to drought, flooding and other natural disasters for decades.  FG

—From USDA news release