Just one year ago, heavy rains and swollen rivers led to historic flooding in the Midwest, yet this summer the worst drought in a quarter century is spreading across the region and threatening crops. More than 1,000 counties have been declared natural disaster areas. The drought comes in the midst of a record-breaking period of high temperature. According to statistics just released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last 12 months is the warmest 12-month period in the US since record-keeping began in 1895. Correspondent Carey Gillam is based in Kansas City for Reuters, where she focuses on agriculture and food.