Nightly News | August 01, 2012
>>> good evening from this global gathering here in london where tonight as quickly we turn our sights back to the united states specifically the tripling and history making drought we are in the midst of and the news that came out just today a measure of just how bad it is and how much it is going to impact us. we begin with our chief environmental affairs correspondent, anne thompson .
>> reporter: this is america land of the dry. rivers barely moving, farmland cracked and parched by a persistent stubborn drought. today the u.s. department of agriculture reports nearly half of the counties have been declared a disaster because of the drought. much of the west, midwest and southeast bathed in red having endured a severe drought for eight or more weeks. the fear in colorado county , texas is potential wildfires fueled by the trees killed in last year's drought.
>> we may have lost between 100 and 500 million trees.
>> reporter: it's been so hot in minnesota even famous lakes provide little relief.
>> temperatures of 95 degrees.
>> reporter: causing fish kills in at least 25 lakes. withering in fields the price of corn hit a new high. there is other trouble, too. 37% of the soybean crop is rated very poor to poor. 66% of the hay fields are in drought. so is 73% of the cattle land.
>> this could be the new normal in the united states . we need to plan ahead because we know and science tells us that under a changing climate droughts will be more frequent and more intense.
>> reporter: 60% of the states have no plan. tomorrow the government will issue its weekly drought monitor detailing the extent of a crisis that could stretch into fall, a crisis that is expected to impact food prices as much of the nation remains stuck in a very dry place.