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[翻译字幕]Agriculture Report - Surviving a Drought: A Farmer's Old-Fashioned Lessons

来源:慢速英语   时间:2012-09-04 06:00:04

农业报道 - 学习农民的老派经验应对干旱

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

In recent days the remains of what had been Hurricane Isaac moved into the American Midwest. The storm brought rain to some of the areas suffering from the country's worst drought in half a century. But the rain might have come too late to save many farmers' corn and soybean crops.

最近几天,飓风艾萨克残余转移到美国中西部。这次风暴给一些遭受了美国半个世纪以来最严重旱灾的地区带来了降雨。但这次雨可能来得太晚,无力挽救许多农民的玉米和大豆。

Crop insurance will help reduce financial losses for most of the farmers. Crop insurance is a tool that is not available to most growers in the developing world. The federal government helps pay the cost of the coverage against natural disasters.

农作物保险将有助于降低大多数农民的经济损失。农作物保险是一种发展中国家大多数种植者无法获得的工具。美国联邦政府帮助支付抵御自然灾害的保险金。

But not every farmer in the United States chooses to buy crop insurance. Dick Thompson of Boone, Iowa, says he operates his farm the way farmers did in the past.

但并非每个美国农民都选择购买农作物保险。爱荷华州布恩市的迪克·汤姆森(Dick Thompson)说,他和过去的农民一样经营着自己的农场。

DICK THOMPSON: "I'm old-fashioned, and I'm proud of it."

汤姆森:“我老土,我骄傲!”

He uses very little chemical fertilizer, weed killers or insecticides, and does not grow genetically modified crops. He says these practices will help him survive the drought. And he says they are already earning him more money per hectare than his neighbors who farm the modern way.

他很少使用化肥、除草剂和杀虫剂,并且不种植转基因作物。他说,这些做法有助于他经受干旱考验。他还说这些做法已经让他每亩地的盈利超过了用现代方式种植的邻居。
 

Iowa farmer Dick Thompson uses crop diversity to survive droughts and other natural disasters. (Photo: Steve Baragona)

Scientists are trying to understand why his practices are working. Matt Liebman has copied many of them at his research fields at Iowa State University.

科学家试图了解他的做法为何有效。马特·利伯曼(Matt Liebman)在爱荷华州立大学在自己的研究方向上复制了很多这类做法。

MATT LIEBMAN: "The reason we're doing this is because of what he's doing. So he was doing it before we did this. He was a good teacher. And what we're doing here is trying to understand some of the scientific mechanisms that explain the patterns that he's observed on his own farm."

利伯曼:“我们这样做的原因是因为汤姆森,他在我们之前就这样做。他是一位好老师。我们这样做是试图了解能够解释他在自己的农场遵守的一些模式的科学机制。”

Many Iowa farms today grow only corn and soybeans. Payments from crop insurance keep farmers in business when their crops do poorly, like in this year's drought.

如今爱荷华州的很多农场只种植玉米和大豆。来自农作物保险的赔偿在农民收益不好时帮助他们继续经营,像今年这样的干旱。

DICK THOMPSON: "Well, I have never bought crop insurance since we started to farm."

汤姆森:“从我开始种地起就没买过农作物保险。”

Instead of crop insurance, he protects himself by growing other kinds of crops in addition to corn and soybeans. He raises hay and oats, along with cattle and pigs. He harvested his oat crop before the drought hit.

他通过种植玉米和大豆之外的其它作物来自保,而不是通过农作物保险。他种植了干草和燕麦,还养了牛和猪。他在干旱来袭前收获了自己的燕麦作物。

DICK THOMPSON: "I think it's common sense. You've got diversity. And you've got some protection there. If one crop doesn't do well, maybe the other one will make up for the difference."

汤姆森:“我认识这是常识。你获得了多元化,也获得了一些保护。如果一种作物收益不佳,可能其它作物会弥补这些差额。”

That common sense used to be common practice on farms in Iowa, the heart of America's corn, or maize, production. But farmers are growing hay on only half as much land as they did twenty years ago. And oat production has fallen by almost ninety-five percent.

这种常识在作为美国玉米生产核心地区的爱荷华州的农场曾经是一种常规做法。但和20年前相比,农民只在以前一半的土地上种植干草。同时燕麦产量已经下降了近95%。

Livestock production has also shrunk. Dick Thompson says he will sell some of his cows and hogs, but not all of them. They provide more than money. They also provide the manure that he uses to fertilize the soil, instead of chemical fertilizers. And the manure helps the soil hold water. Iowa State University researcher Rick Cruse says that is another kind of insurance.

畜牧业生产也已经萎缩。汤姆森表示,他会卖出一些牛和猪,但不会全卖掉。这些牲畜能够提供的不止是钱,还能提供粪便替代化学肥料用于土地施肥。同时粪便有助于土壤保持水分。爱荷华州立大学研究人员里克·克鲁斯(Rick Cruse)表示,这是另一种类型的保险。

RICK CRUSE: "It really adds to the condition of that soil that does favor crop growth, particularly under stress conditions. And that's the kind of conditions we're experiencing this year."

克鲁斯:“它确实改善了土壤的状况,有利于作物生长,特别是在有压力的状况下,也就是我们今年经历的这样一种状况。”

These are conditions that farmers everywhere might face more often with climate change. Matt Liebman says his research shows that all farmers can learn from Dick Thompson.

因为气候变化,世界各地的农民可能会更频繁地面临各种状况。利伯曼称他的研究显示,所有农民都可以借鉴汤姆森的做法。

MATT LIEBMAN: "Looking towards diversity, crop-livestock integration, the careful stewardship of the soil, making the best use of every drop of rain that falls. I mean, those things are all lessons that we should know here. And they're even more important elsewhere."

利伯曼:“展望多样性,农作物和牲畜结合,细致土壤管理,最大化利用每滴雨水。我是说这些都是我们应该知道的经验教训。而且它们在其它地方甚至更为重要。”

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. You can read and listen to our story and watch a video about Dick Thompson's farm at www.voanews.cn. I'm Jim Tedder.
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Contributing: Steve Baragona

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