Middle Tennessee Suffering Severe Drought

Record-setting temperatures and widespread drought are spelling disaster for the 2012 corn crop in Tennessee, and officials say there’s little chance of enough rain the rest of the summer to even raise hopes for a rebound.

Despite recent rains, Tennessee agriculture officials say farmers will lose about half of their corn yield this season — a crop typically valued at $280 million to $300 million a year. The loss will have an effect felt all the way to grocery store cash registers. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of East Tennessee ranges from “normal” to “abnormally dry” conditions, while the western two-thirds of Tennessee is in “moderate” to “severe” drought, with “exceptional” drought conditions on the western edge of the state.