Posted: Aug 10, 2012 3:11 PM by NBC News
Updated: Aug 10, 2012 3:12 PM
Rows of corn stalks and soybeans are wilting under the unrelenting sun in the nation's breadbasket.
The latest U.S. Drought Map shows excessively dry conditions in all of the Plains states.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture releases its August Crop Report today, the first since July's record heat wave baked more than two-thirds of the country.
"This footprint of drought is also the largest footprint of drought that we've experienced since December 1956," notes NOAA's Jake Crough.
It's sending grain prices through the roof.
Corn futures hit record highs Thursday.
The president met with his Rural Council earlier this week in hopes of helping farmers and ranchers and avoiding rising food prices, but consumers are getting hit hard at the grocery store.
There's no immediate relief in sight.
The six to ten day forecast predicts no significant rain in the Midwest.
Government climatologists say we could be looking at a new normal.
We are coming off the hottest July on record and the long term temperature trend across the country is rising.
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