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The Plains states where the production of corn and soybeans is key are being hit harder by excessive drought conditions in the wake of the hottest month on record in the continental U.S., contributing to a surge in global food prices, the Associated Press says. The expanse of the U.S. still gripped by extreme or exceptional drought – the two worst classifications – rose to 24.14 percent this week, up nearly 2 percentage points from the previous week.

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April 23, 2014