(NBC News) President Obama headed to California Friday to address the drought crisis.
92% of the state is exceptionally dry.
The state's huge output of produce is way down, farms are failing, and livestock is dying.
Now the administration is stepping in to help.
"In an emergency situation like this, people want to know that government is paying attention, they want to know that government has immediate help and assistance," says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
The president is announcing more than $160 million in financial aid, and pushing Congress to provide a billion dollars to research climate change.
Meanwhile, House Republicans want to halt a project to restore salmon to a shrunken river and channel the water to farms.