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慢速英语:US Farmers Struggle With Drought

Source: VOA    2012-07-31   English BBS   Favorite  
This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

A drought across much of the United States is forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. Damage to corn and soybeans is already severe in the hardest-hit areas.
一次席卷美国大部分地区的干旱迫使农民做出艰难的决定。在重灾区,玉米和大豆受损害已经非常严重。

Alan Bowers Junior is a farmer in the state of Illinois in the Midwest.
小Alan Bowers是伊利诺伊州中西部的农民。

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "You get up in the morning, and you think it might be another thirteen months before we get a paycheck. The corn and soybean crop is our paycheck."
ALAN BOWERS JR:“你早上起床,就觉得可能还要再过13个月才能拿到我们的薪水。玉米和大豆作物就是我们的薪水。”

The corn on his farm is so dry, the stalks break apart just by touching them. The maize is unusable. So in the middle of July, Alan Bowers decided to cut down his crop to avoid a total loss.
他农场上的玉米是如此干燥,以至于一碰玉米秆都掉了,玉米也无法使用了。因此,在7月中旬,Alan Bowers决定把庄稼都砍掉,以避免彻底损失。

ALAN BOWERS JR.: "We are making what they call corn silage out of this for the animals, for the cows. And if you wait till it's completely dried up, it won't even make suitable feed for the animals."
ALAN BOWERS JR:“我们正在用这些荒废的玉米给动物还有奶牛做他们所谓的玉米青贮饲料。如果你等到它完全干透,甚至也不能给动物做饲料了。”

Alan Bowers and his wife, Lori, are hoping for a small insurance settlement to help them pay their bills until next year.
Alan Bowers和他的妻子, Lori,希望能拿到一笔小的保险赔偿,以帮助他们支付明年前的帐单。

LORI BOWERS: "People don't realize we have no boss and we have nobody to help us. And it's tough. You have to work together. You have to work with a husband and a wife and family, and together try to work through it."
LORI BOWERS:“人们没有意识到我们没有老板,也没有人帮我们。这很艰难。你只能和丈夫或妻子还有家人一起努力,一起度过难关。”

The Bowers could also lose their soybeans to the record high temperatures and lack of rain in the worst drought in more than half a century.
在创纪录的高温天气和半个世纪一遇的严重干旱少雨情况下,Bowers一家也会失去他们的大豆。

And Alan Bowers says if next year is anything like this, the farm itself may not survive. The farm has been in his family for four generations.
而Alan Bowers说,如果明年还是这样的话,他们家四代人经营的这个农场可能无法生存下去。

The drought is reducing the depth of the Mississippi River, the nation's longest and most economically important waterway. Last year, heavy rains flooded the banks along parts of the Mississippi. This year, the level is so low, shipwrecks normally hidden underwater can be clearly seen.
干旱降低了密西西比河的水位,密西西比河是全美最长,最经济的重要水路。去年,大雨淹没了密西西比河的部分河岸。今年的水位这么低,连平时隐藏在水下的船只残骸都可以清楚地看到。

Jasen Brown is a hydraulic engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Jasen Brown是陆军工程兵部队的水利工程师。

JASEN BROWN: "So there's a lot of money at stake for these farmers, and there's other commodities that are coming down the river as well. It's not just grain, but it's also some chemicals that are coming down the river. Coal is coming down the river. Various different things like that."
JASEN BROWN:“因此,对这些农民来说,许多的资金都会受到威胁。还有很多物资也要从这条水路通过,不仅仅是粮食,还有一些化学品,煤炭以及其各种不同的物资。”

Sixty percent of all grain exported from the United States travels on barges along the Mississippi.
60%从美国出口的的粮食都要经密西西比河运输。

An Army Corps of Engineers survey ship called the MV Pathfinder looks for places along the river that are not deep enough for traffic. Crews then either dredge the sites to make them deeper or mark them with warning buoys. Terry Bequette, the ship's captain, says companies have to lighten the loads of their barges when the water level is low.
一艘名为“MV Pathfinder”的军团工程兵部队测量船在搜寻沿河深度不适合航行的区域,随后船员要么挖掘该地点让航道变深,要么做好警示浮标。船长Terry Bequette说,水位太低的时候航运公司只能减轻船的负荷。

TERRY BEQUETTE: "It's low and it's bad, but it's not the end-of-the-world bad. The industry just lightens their loads and hopes for the best."
TERRY BEQUETTE:“水位很低时很糟糕,但这并不是世界末日。航运公司只能减少运载量并祈祷了。”

A new American Meteorological Society study links climate change to a drought last year in Texas and some other extreme weather events. Natural conditions played a part. But the study found that human activity made the Texas drought twenty times more likely than in the nineteen sixties.
美国气象学会一项新的研究把气候变化与去年发生在得克萨斯州的干旱和其他一些极端天气事件联系起来。自然条件发挥了部分作用。但研究发现,人类活动使得克萨斯州的干旱比上世纪60年代严重20倍。


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