Scott Olson / Getty Images Scott Olson / Getty Images Nati Harnik / AP Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

US cuts crop forecast as drought ravages Corn Belt

(Photos top: Scott Olson / Getty Images; Photos bottom: Nati Harnik / AP; Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA)

Federal forecasters are predicting record prices for corn and soybeans, raising fears of a new world food crisis as the worst U.S. drought in half a century continues to punish key farm states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said production of U.S. corn and soybeans is expected to be down 17 percent from its forecast last month of nearly 13 billion bushels, and 13 percent lower than last year. It was the second month in a row when the USDA has cut its production estimate.

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