“The most widespread drought in a generation has imposed great stress on people, crops and livestock,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in a statement on the economic impact of the 2012 drought.

”Many farmers already know they won’t have a crop,” according to Stallman, “The on-farm economic impacts are real and serious.”

While the full impact on the nation won’t be known for several months, ranchers and livestock producers are already having difficulties getting feed and forage for their livestock. The drought has driven corn prices to record highs.

Adding to the troubling outlook is an unfavorable forecast showing continued likelihood of three-digit temperatures with little hope for rain.

“The latest forecasts still suggest we are on pace to produce the third or fourth largest corn crop on record,” according to Stallman. “We expect USDA’s August crop report, which will be released in three weeks, will provide a clearer picture as it will include actual in-the-field surveys.”

“This drought and the uncertainty it is causing farmers and ranchers and other segments of our industry underscores the importance of completing action on the 2012 farm bill,” Stallman said. “Both the Senate-passed and House Agriculture Committee versions contain new tools that will assist farmers, while restoring several expired provisions that would help livestock producers manage the weather-related risks that regularly impact their livelihoods.”

Stallman remains hopeful congressional leaders will expedite their work on this vital legislation.