US Drought Boosts Corn, Soybean Prices to New Records

Posted July 19th, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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As the drought in the United States intensifies, corn and soybean prices are hitting record highs.

Prices for both commodities jumped on Thursday, as forecasters said there is little rain expected for farmlands across vast swaths of the American Midwest, known as the country's breadbasket. The country is suffering through its worst drought since 1956, with parched fields and stunted crops.

The price of corn topped $8 a bushel and soybeans neared $17.50. The United States is the world's leading producer of the two crops, which are used to feed livestock and in food production.

U.S. farmers have watched their crops wilt under searing temperatures. One Indiana farmer, John Scott, compared his plight to those affected by the devastating 2005 storm, Hurricane Katrina, which left a major U.S. city, New Orleans, inundated by floodwaters.

“It's terrible. Right now we are at the level with the potential to be (a) Katrina-style disaster here in the next month if we don't have major rainstorms coming through.”