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SCOTT JAGOW: I’m telling you, this heat, it’s making people crazy. Yesterday, I saw a guy snatch an air conditioner out of an old lady’s hands. It was the last air conditioner left at the Home Depot. The first half of this year has been the country’s hottest on record. I can’t even imagine what’s it like for farmers. More now from Alex Cohen.
ALEX COHEN: A combination of heat and drought has been brutal on crops like corn, wheat and cotton throughout the country.
The US Department of Agriculture has declared counties in Colorado, Oregon, Nebraska, Arkansas and Texas as natural disaster areas. That allows farmers to apply for low interest emergency loans.
But, says Travis Miller of Texas A&M University, when crops are depleted, farmers aren’t the only ones taking a financial hit.
TRAVIS MILLER: Your equipment dealers, your fertilizer dealers, car and pick up dealers, whatever rural people buy, they’re going to buy less of because they have less income.
This year’s weather’s been a blessing for one crop: Peaches in South Carolina and Georgia are sweeter this season due to the heat.
I’m Alex Cohen for Marketplace.
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