Nightly News | July 18, 2012
>> on this drought that is now over half the nation in its grip. the official drought disaster area grew even larger today. eight more states aed to the list and there was more worry today about the prices of so many consumer products as a result. especially corn and all that it goes into. nbc's kevin tibbles is with us from the floor of the chicago mercantile exchange . good evening.
>> here where they trade in the commodities that we've been reporting on, talk again today was of corn. up another percentage point and of course, it is at its highest levels in over a year. meanwhile, the evergrowing list of drought disaster areas stands at more than 1,200 counties. today the secretary of agriculture said 3/5 of the american land mass has been affected by this lack of rain. and he's called on congress to assist the american farmer . now it is not just corn, because beef, pork and poultry producers have been selling off early, fearing rising feed prices. and as a result, the shortrun, vilsack says meat prices may go down. by year's end, he expects consumers to be paying more. there's one other thing. consumers should be suspicious of price rises right now being blamed on the drought because he said it will take some time to filter into the economy. so he's asking consumers to actually be vigilant at this time about price gouging . brian?
>> all right. thanks for that report from the chicago merc where the prices are often set. kevin tibbles in chicago.