The drought has certainly been taking its toll on crops and pastureland. In fact, the latest USDA harvest estimate has the U.S. corn crop pegged at 8.849 billion bushels— the smallest crop in seven years.

In addition to pummeling corn, the hot and dry weather has hurt soybean production, too. The USDA forecasts the soybean harvest to be about 2.66 billion bushels. That’s 8 percent less than the 2001 crop, which was a record crop. If the estimate is correct, this will be the smallest soybean crop in three years.

The smaller than usual crops will further reduce carryover stocks and increase U.S. grain prices. Some market analysts predict grain prices to return to the levels seen in the mid-1990s when grain stockpiles worldwide ran low.

Reuters