"Retail food prices are predicted to rise as soon as this fall due to the high temperatures, low rainfall and 70-year record drought across the Midwest that have boosted commodity prices for corn, soybeans and other field crops, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today."
"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today designated 76 additional counties in six states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat. Counties in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin were added to the natural disaster list.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reports this week that two-thirds of the continental United States is in a moderate to exceptional drought.
During the 2012 crop year, the USDA has designated 1,234 counties across 31 states as disaster areas due to drought, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans."