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Drought Likely To Hit You Hard In The Pocketbook

Texas Drought
A severe drought has caused a number of dry-land (non-irrigated) crops in Texas to fail. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

JONESTOWN (CBS News) - A government report says the drought gripping much of the U.S. is the largest since 1956, with more than half the nation experiencing moderate to extreme drought.

With no relief in sight, the arid conditions may soon start having a noticeable effect on the prices of everything from food to gasoline.

The biggest drought in more than half a century is leaving fields from as far south as Texas and from Ohio to California dried up and desperate for rain.

"We've never seen a drought like this," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters.

"You can see firsthand how depleted, how serious this matter is," Quinn continued, holding up an ear of dried-out corn.

The Department of Agriculture estimates that nearly 40 percent of the nation's corn crop is in poor condition, and Purdue University economist Chris Hurt says that's bound to have a ripple effect on the economy.

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