Widespread drought declared across the country

August 2, 2012 12:36:19 AM PDT
More than half of all U.S. counties have been designated disaster zones thanks to the widespread drought.

The Agriculture Department added 218 counties in 12 states to its list because of drought damage and losses. The Ag department says it's the most severe and expensive drought in 25 years.

The USDA reports nearly 75 percent of the nation's cattle land is in a drought-stricken region, and it says more than half of the nation's corn crops are in poor condition.

The agency says the harsh conditions could force food prices to surge as much as 4.5 percent next year.

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