The price of corn surged Monday to an all-time high as the worst US drought in some 50 years continues to ravage crops across the Midwest and South. According to estimates provided by the Department of Agriculture, nearly 90 percent of the nation's corn crops are in areas currently experiencing drought, with nearly half of those crops being grown in areas that have been hit the hardest. Over the past six weeks, the price of corn has risen more than 50 percent as supplies have been decimated by dry conditions. Corn prices rose another 3 percent on Monday alone to a new all-time high of $8.17 per bushel in trading on the Chicago mercantile exchange.
The damage from the droughts plaguing the nation has not been limited to corn, either, as the price of soybeans has risen about 20 percent over the last few weeks and rose another 1 percent on Monday. The drought has also had an impact on cattle ranchers, who use corn to feed their cattle. As a result, beef prices have also been climbing, and are expected to continue that ascent in the coming weeks. According to sources familiar with crop planting and harvest schedules, it's already too late for corn farmers, but soybean farmers are still hopeful for heavy rainfall before the middle of August, considered the cut-off for soybeans to get enough rain to not impact production.