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Burnt stalks lie on the ground among rows of corn damaged by drought in a parched field in Louisville, Ill. Days of triple digit temperatures with little rain in the past two months is forcing many farmers to call 2012 a total loss.

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Drought now grips more than half of the nation

WALTONVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The nation’s widest drought in decades is spreading, with more than half of the continental United States now in some stage of drought and most of the rest enduring abnormally dry conditions.

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