U.S. drought crisis

Associated Press
Tovah Hagens of St. Louis County fishes along a newly-exposed bank of the Mississippi River near North Riverfront Park in St. Louis on Monday, July 16, 2012. Hagens says he fishes there often and has noticed a dramatic drop in the river level from just a few weeks ago. A year after the Mississippi River swelled to near-historic proportions and flooded farms and homes from Illinois to Louisiana, the level along the waterway's southern half is so low that cargo barges have run aground and their operators have been forced to lighten their loads. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

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Triple-digit temperatures and weeks without rain withered and destroyed many crops in the Midwest, sending commodity soybean and grain prices soaring in 2012.

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