The drought in America’s breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world’s key producer are decimated.
The US Drought Monitor reported a nearly threefold increase in areas of extreme drought over the past week in the nine Midwestern states where three quarters of the country’s corn and soybean crops are produced.
”œThat expansion of D3 or extreme conditions intensified quite rapidly and we went from 11.9 percent to 28.9 percent in just one week,” Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and Drought Monitor author, told AFP.
”œFor myself, studying drought, that’s rapid. We’ve seen a lot of things developing with this drought that were unprecedented, especially the speed.”
Almost two thirds of the continental United States are now suffering drought conditions, the largest area recorded since the Drought Monitor project started in 1999.