Five senators from poultry-growing states -- Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) -- sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Monday urging the federal government to do more to help poultry growers survive the emergency drought now gripping the nation.
"As senators from poultry-producing states, we urge you to do everything you can to provide tools and assistance for the poultry industry to manage risk during this crisis," the senators wrote. "We encourage you to use your existing authority to explore as many options as possible, including reprogramming funds, providing additional loan options, providing compensation for economic losses, enhancing corn supplies, compensating for feed and poultry transportation costs, and a bonus purchase of turkey products in order to assist poultry producers and companies."
The severe drought in the Midwest has caused corn prices to go up by as much as 60 percent, making it harder for poultry growers to feed their flocks.
The letter can be downloaded as a PDF here: http://coons.senate.gov/download/vilsack-letter