Worst Drought in 50 Years

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Worst U.S.

drought in 50 years
The scorching drought in the Midwest has ravaged fields and driven up the price of soybeans, wheat and corn, with domino e ects on the cost of meat and other products. Economists fear the drought could impact global food prices since the United States is a major agricultural exporter

IN MINUTES

News and events — visually

D4 drought
Exceptional

Intensity:

States with counties designated as primary disaster areas

14
WY CO

billion bushels of corn were expected at the beginning of the season

11
WI IL

billion bushels are now expected

D3 drought
Extreme

OR CA

MI

D2 drought
Severe

NV

NE KS OK

UT

IN KY TN SC

DE

D1 drought
Moderate

MO AR

D0

AZ
Cows give less milk in the heat, and what they do produce is lower in proteins and butterfat, meaning it takes more to make cheese and butter — prices rise.

NM

Abnormally dry

MS

AL

GA FL

Temperature outlook, August 2012
Probability of temperature being above normal 33% 40% 50% 60%

Precipitation outlook, August 2012
Probability of precipitation being: Below normal Above normal 33% 40% 33% 40%

TX

LA
U.S. corn producing areas
Major growing area Minor growing area Drought area

of the contiguous United States is in moderate to exceptional drought

64%

When feed for livestock is unavailable or too pricey, farmers sell animals for slaughter. Herds shrink in size and prices go up.

Expected price increases
Beef Pork Poultry and eggs Dairy

4–5%
Sources: USDA; NOAA; U.S. Drought Monitor; Graphic News

2.5–3.5%

3–4%

Fruits and veggies
Prices not expected to go up, as they are irrigated even in normal weather

Normally, the annual grocery price inflation is about

3.5–4.5%

2.8%

SUSAN BATSFORD, GRAPHICS EDITOR, TWITTER @SBATS1; INFOGRAPHIC BY MEGAN DINNER/QMI AGENCY