If the drought that is now gripping the Midwest is not interrupted soon by substantial rain, the US corn crop could fail entirely, or be brought in at a much diminished level (is this one reason why some people are betting against the US economy recovering?)
It's an extremely serious problem, because China has already bought massive quantities of this crop, and with the amount of corn already destined to be used in ethanol production, the result will be serious food shortages in many parts of the world, and significant price increases, along with availability problems, in the US itself. Chinese purchasing was triggered by huge shortages of their own caused by unprecedented drought in their grain-growing areas.
Droughts elsewhere in the world, in France, in East Africa and in Brazil to name a few countries, are generally putting pressure on food production. In East Africa it is estimated that 10,000 people a week are dying from starvation and dehydration, most of them children. At present, there is no sign of any new weather pattern across the US and Canada, as record temperatures appear likely to continue.
Meanwhile, a very hot arctic summer means that strong weather systems that could bring rain to the area are unlikely to form until later in the season. However, localized weather systems can often bring substantial rain over the summer to the region.
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