80 per cent of U.S. abnormally dry amid widest drought since 1956
Burnt stalks lie on the ground among rows of corn damaged by drought in a parched field in Louisville, Ill. on Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP / Robert Ray)
Published Monday, July 16, 2012 1:38PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 16, 2012 10:33PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS -- A new report says the drought gripping the United States is the widest since 1956, and the effect on the nation's corn and soybean crops is alarming.
Fifty-five per cent of the continental U.S. faces a moderate to extreme drought, according to the monthly State of the Climate drought report released Monday by the National Climactic Data Center.
That's the most since December 1956, when 58 per cent of the country was covered by drought.
This year, 80 per cent of the U.S. is abnormally dry.
The nation's corn and soybean belt has been especially hard hit. The report says crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at an alarming rate.