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Drought rapidly intensifying in central U.S.
A corn plant struggles to survive in a drought-stricken Illinois field: 38 percent of U.S. corn crops are in bad shape due to the season's severe heat.
A corn plant struggles to survive in a drought-stricken Illinois field: 38 percent of U.S. corn crops are in bad shape due to the season's severe heat.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
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new U.S. Drought Monitor report reveals that the amount of land classified as having extreme or exceptional drought conditions jumped to more than 20 percent of the country, a 7 percent increase from last week. Overall, more than 63 percent of the U.S. is in some stage of drought, a magnitude not seen by the Drought Monitor in more than a decade. The state of Illinois has been hardest hit — its percentage of land in extreme or exceptional drought skyrocketed to 71 percent this week from just 8 percent last week.

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