SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Worsening drought in the United States has pushed grain prices to new highs as crops are withering and the temperatures are rising.
The drought in the US Midwest, which is the country’s worst in 25 years, hit maize crop particularly hard, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday, AFP reported.
The US is the world's biggest producer of corn and soybeans as well as a top food exporter.
Soybean prices at the Chicago Board of Trade established a new record and corn ended the day near a record as millions of acres of crops wilted under a scorching sun in the US Corn Belt.
Corn prices have risen over 50 percent in the past month as the crop seared in many locations during its most important growth stage of pollination.
"I get on my knees every day and I'm saying an extra prayer now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it," Vilsack said after he delivered a briefing about the drought to President Barack Obama.
Vilsack said that 78 percent of US corn and 11 percent of soybean crops had been damaged.
"This will result in significant increases in prices for corn. We've seen a 38 percent increase since June 1 in the price of a bushel of corn -- it's now $7.88. A bushel of beans has risen 24 percent," he said.
"Part of the problem we're facing is that weather conditions were so good at the beginning of the season that farmers got in the field early, and as a result this drought comes at a very difficult and painful time in their ability to have their crops have good yield," Vilsack said. — www.shafaqna.com/english/