"Crops Suffer as Drought Intensifies in US Breadbasket"

"The most expansive drought in more than a half century intensified this week and stretched further into major farm areas of the western Midwest where crops had largely been shielded from the harsh conditions that decimated yields further east."

"The moderate drought in parts of eastern Nebraska, northern Illinois and much of the top corn and soybean state Iowa was downgraded to a severe drought in the past week, climate experts said Thursday, and forecasts showed little relief in sight.

Prices of both corn and soybeans soared to all-time highs on Thursday, with corn climbing more than 50 percent in the past four weeks alone due to the worsening drought, squeezing ethanol and livestock producer margins and chilling export demand.

More extreme heat and scant rains were expected in the area over the next week, suggesting the poorest crop conditions since the historic 1988 drought would continue to erode, sapping yield potential at a time when supplies will be uncomfortably tight."

Karl Plume reports for Reuters July 20, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"Little Relief Forecast for Drought-Damaged US Crops" (Reuters)

"US Drought Wilts Crops as Officials Pray for Rain" (Reuters)

"Widespread Drought Is Likely to Worsen" (New York Times)

"Corn, Soybean Prices at Record Highs on Crop Woes" (AP)

"Drought Begins To Take Its Toll on Nation's Livestock; Effects on Food Prices Still To Come" (ClimateWire)

"Drought Conditions Strain Driller's Water Use in Major Pa. Watershed" (EnergyWire)
 

Source: Reuters, 07/20/2012