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The sun rises over grain bins and a drought struggling corn crop Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 in Ashland, Ill. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor survey shows an increase in extreme drought conditions in four Plains states. The wide economic impact of this year's drought on crops has yet to be seen but some cattle farmers are already selling off their livestock rather than endure the higher cost of feed.

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Drought slows economy in Midwest, Western states

The rural economy is sputtering in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states as farmers try to cope with this summer’s severe drought, according to the newest monthly survey of bankers released Thursday.

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