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US suffers worst drought in 56 years since 1956

Washington, July 17 (): The drought hitting the United States has been defined as the worst hit in more than 50 years, according to a release by the nation’s meteorological agency.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say 55% of the places in continental US were under extreme and moderate drought by the end of June. This percentage is the highest since December 1956 when 58% of the country was covered by severe drought.

The 2012 drought is among the ten largest of the past century, according to a new report released by the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Centre in Asheville, North Carolina today. The present drought covers more region than 1936 drought, though the extreme drought of 1934 still ranks higher.

America’s soybean and corn belt has been affected more over the past 3 months, the report from NOAA’s said. The area has experienced its 10th driest and 7th warmest from April to June period.

U.S. government information revealed on Monday, an expanding U.S. drought has caused another setback to corn crop, with conditions worsening for the straight second week in the world’s top exporter of the grain. The 1988 drought experienced a sharp reduction in soybean and corn production.

The drought that was centred in the Midwest is now expanding to west and north, putting more risk to the crops including Nebraska where large areas of cropland are watered by rivers and groundwater.

This summer, 80 per cent of the US is abnormally dry, and the report said the drought expanded in the West, Great Plains and Midwest last month with the 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record.

The topsoil has dried drastically and pastures, rangeland and crops have worsened at a rarely seen rate in the past 18 years. Earlier, NOAA said last year the continental US has been the country’s hottest since modern record-keeping began in 1895.