Almost 30 percent of the American Midwest — the area that produces most of the country’s corn, soybeans and livestock — is suffering an escalation of its most extreme drought in five decades.

Conditions in the region have worsened despite the first measurable rain in a month in some areas. More than 53 percent of the U.S. and Puerto Rico is experiencing moderate droughts or worse, a record for the fourth week in a row for the 12 years climate experts have been watching.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Reuters via The Guardian:

More than half of the country’s pastures have been rated poor or very poor by the US Agriculture Department, while the corn and soybean crops have wilted under scorching temperatures during their more vulnerable periods of pollination.

A Reuters poll this week estimated the US corn yield at 130.8 bushels per acre, the lowest in 10 years.

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