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Drought Has Now Put Over Half of All U.S. Counties in Disaster Zone

The Department of Agriculture blamed excessive heat and the historic drought for putting half of all U.S. counties in “disaster zones” that have now spread beyond the Corn Belt and are starting to boost food prices throughout the country. They also announced that nearly three-quarters of the nation’s cattle acreage is inside a disaster zone, as well as a third of the nation’s hay acreage. 37% of soybean crops were ranked poor or very poor, along with half of the nation’s corn and 57% of pastures. “When I was a kid in the ’50s … it got real dry, but nothing like this,” said Marvin Helms, a 70-year-old Arkansas farmer and rancher …

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