‘Farmer George Naylor sounds a little too much like the fictional character Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh when I ask about his corn crop. June is usually a wet month, but not this year. One time it “rained” so little it just barely wet the bottom of his rain gauge. Add that to several days of triple-digit temperatures that accelerated evapotranspiration (water loss from his soil and his crop) and his corn is in a sad state. But he’s actually relatively lucky because he is in Iowa, which got some rain early in the season. Farmers in Illinois and Indiana are faring much worse.
The 2012 drought is now the worst drought our country has faced in half a century. As of the end of June, a third of the nation was in severe to extreme drought, and more than half faced moderate to extreme drought. All in all, June ranks as the 14 th warmest and 10 th driest June on record. By the end of July, the USDA had declared 1,584 counties in 32 states as primary disaster areas, making farmers and ranchers in those counties eligible for federal relief programs. Analogies to the Dust Bowl are becoming common.’