A Country Caught in Historic Drought - PICTURES

July 19, 2012, 8:58 a.m.

The coun­try is cur­rently in the midst of the worst drought in more than 50 years, and its ef­fects are rip­pling across the heart­land and throughout the ag­ri­cul­tur­al eco­nomy. Sev­enty per­cent of the Mid­w­est is now in a state of drought, which doesn’t bode well for corn and cattle pro­duc­tion.

Ag­ri­cul­ture Sec­ret­ary Tom Vil­sack on Wed­nes­day said that “we would an­ti­cip­ate in the short term, food prices for beef, poultry, and pork may go down a bit…. But over time they will rise,” as will the price of pro­cessed foods.

Col­lec­ted here are im­ages of the drought’s im­pact on the na­tion’s mid­sec­tion.