Heartbreaking Photos Show How The Drought Is Devastating Farmers In The Midwest

cow field drought

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The drought that has consumed the Midwest this summer is covering the widest land expanse since 1956. It has also caused the USDA to drastically reduce its crop forecast, which some say is still too optimistic.The severe weather has caused crop yields to be cut, has caused farmers to sell their cattle as they look to cut costs. This drought could have implications for years to come and cause a massive decline in livestock herds.

We put together some photos of how the drought and extreme heat have impacted life in the Midwest.

Corn plants dead from the drought sit in mud after an inch of rain fell on a field near Wyatt, Missouri

Corn plants are withered and dry in a drought-stricken file near Shawneetown, Illinois

Corn plants struggle to grow in a farm field near Vincennes, Indiana

The sun rises over a corn field in rural Springfield, Nebraska. Many farmers have been forced to irrigate their fields around the clock

Corn showing signs of stress. Severe drought causes leaf rolling, blisters, and problems with pollination so there are no kernels on the cob

Migrant workers pick watermelon from an irrigated fields in a drought-stricken region of Indiana. The state is one of the largest producers of watermelon

Dead long-nose fish and catfish lie on a sand bar at the Platte River near the Louisville state recreation area in Nebraska

The exposed bottom of the Mississippi River is cracked by extreme heat and lack of rain

Marion Kujawa a farmer in Ashley, Illinois looks over a pond on his farm in Illinois

A cow finds shade under a tree in a drought stricken field as temperatures surge over 100 degrees in Kentucky

A cow grazes on a drought-stricken pasture near Princeton, Indiana

A farmer feeds corn to his cattle in Illinois

Many farmers are selling their cattle during the drought rather than pay for feed

Cattle wait in pens before an auction sale in Conway, Arkansas

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.