Why is the heartland of the United States experiencing such a horrific drought right now? At the moment, approximately 61 percent of the entire nation is experiencing drought conditions, and this is absolutely devastating farmers and ranchers all over the country. Less than two weeks ago I wrote an article asking what would happen if these drought conditions persisted, and now we are finding out. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created the largest natural disaster area in U.S. history. The USDA has declared 1,016 counties in 26 U.S. states to be disaster areas. The USDA declaration basically covered about half of the nation, and there is now no denying how horrible this drought really is. You can see a map of this disaster area right here. This endless drought is being compared to the nightmarish drought of 1988, and if it persists into August it could become perhaps the worst drought that America has ever seen. The USDA says that approximately 60 percent of all corn in the country is experiencing "moderate to extreme" drought conditions. If this drought does not end soon, the losses are going to be mind blowing. Already, it is estimated that farmers and ranchers have suffered billions of dollars in damage. How much worse can things get?
It is being projected that in some of the major corn growing areas as much as 60 percent of the crops could be lost.
Many farmers that had been desperately hoping for rain are now becoming resigned to the fact that their crops are not going to make it.
So is there any hope that things are going to turn around?
Unfortunately, things do not look promising right now. It is being projected that the Corn Belt will experience extremely high temperatures and very low rainfall all the way through mid-August.
So what does all of this mean for the rest of us?
It is going to mean higher food prices.
On Friday, the price of corn hit $7.50 a bushel.