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AGRIBUSINESS: Water Assistance Might Be Too Late

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Dry weather has taken it's toll in the past couple years.

 USDA announced it will make $6 million in grants available this year, up to $30 million over the next five years. This is part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges.  Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack says it's to develop water resource quantity and quality.
But for states like California, the grants come a little late. The drought there hit the cattle industry hard and a National Beef plant made the decision to shut down in Brawley, California. Reports say the local county offered $3 million in assistance, an energy provider offered $2 million in reduced rates, and the feedlots claimed they would increase their supply of cattle by 10 percent. But the National Beef plant says they cannot operate the facility profitably.
The local newspaper, the Imperial Valley Press, reports the local economy will lose almost a $102 million a year and unemployment rates will jump about five to six percent.