By J.D. Heyes
The drought which gripped most of the U.S. this past summer had much more far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world, leading the World Bank, in part, to issue a hunger warning in late August.
The U.S. drought, coupled with similar weather patterns and conditions in parts of Europe and Africa this year, have led to a dramatic reduction in crop production, the bank said, which has curbed availability and set food prices to record highs for some items and leading the Washington, D.C.-based financial institution to raise its food price index above its previous peak in early 2011.
The bank has blamed the drought conditions for a 25 percent increase in the price of corn and a 17 percent increase in the price of soybeans in July, noting that a dry summer in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan was behind an additional 25 percent hike in wheat prices.