Phát âm chuẩn cùng VOA – Anh ngữ đặc biệt: Oklahoma Drought (VOA)

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Parts of the southwestern American states of Texas and Oklahoma have experienced severely dry weather for several years. This drought has affected the growth of cotton and grains. The governor of Oklahoma says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. Some heavy rain fell recently, but for most farmers, it did not come soon enough. Matt Muller is a farmer in southwestern Oklahoma. He says his area has suffered four years of drought. Mr. Muller was hopeful earlier this year. Spring was cool and wet, and summer came early. But hopes went away when the rains did not come. High temperatures and lack of rain meant that most crops did not grow. That was not the case with mung beans however. Mr. Muller says that crop did well because it can grow even when there is not much rain. Crops like mung beans help farmers survive. Irrigation can also help. Irrigation systems use water from underground when there is not enough rain. But crops like cotton are more valuable than mung beans. And it is the high-profit crops that are being hurt by the drought. Clint Abernathy is a cotton farmer. He says he did not grown as much cotton as he predicted in the past few years. Before the drought, he grew much bigger and more productive plants. He says insurance has helped provide money when his crops failed. But he notes insurance payments keep dropping as do prices for his crops. He says what farmers really need is more water and better prices for what they grow.

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