U.S. drought crisis

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A pepper plant grows on the farm of Jerry Jimenez on July 26, 2012 near Cobden, Illinois. Jimenez's pepper farm was one of several farms in the drought-stricken region of Southern Illinois that were visited by officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as they surveyed crop damage and informed farmers of what assistance was currently available. Jimenez expects the yield from his farm to be half that of last year because of the drought. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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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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