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Source: CNN Money

Corn prices surged to a new record high Monday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.

Almost 90% of the United States’ corn crops are in drought ravaged areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and nearly 40% are situated in the hardest hit spots.

Corn prices have soared more than 50% during the past six weeks as the crops continue to shrivel in relentless dry heat throughout the Midwest. They jumped another 3% Monday to a record high of $8.17 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN), which tracks a basket corn futures contracts, gained 2.5%.

Soybean prices, which are up more than 20% in recent weeks, also advanced. Prices rose 1% Monday to touch $16.17 per bushel, the highest since July 23. The Teucrium Soybean ETF (SOYB) gained more than 2%.

Soybean prices will likely continue to rise as the heat lingers in the area where soybeans are the major crop.

“Soybeans are second only to corn as the biggest agricultural product in the Midwest,” said Alex Sosnowski, expert senior Meteorologist at AccuWeather.com. “While episodes of rain will continue over some agricultural areas in the Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley and East in the coming weeks, part of primary soybean growing areas will continue to be slammed by heat and drought.”

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Sosnowski notes that the next few weeks are crucial for soybeans. From now through mid-August is when soybeans finish their flowering stage and set pods, so mid-August is considered the cut-off for soybeans to receive rainfall without having a serious impact on production. Without rain, soybean yields are likely to be between 10% and 15% lower than the USDA had originally projected.

Prices for wheat, another grain, have also been rising on the back of corn and soybean prices.   Prices for wheat futures rose more than 2% Monday, and the Teucrium Wheat ETF (WEAT) gained 1.6%.