Drought now covers more than half of the lower 48 states but few have it as rough as Arkansas, where the entire state is listed as suffering from lower-than-average precipitation.

"It's just devastating," cattle rancher Karen Haralson told NBC News. Having never seen her land this barren, she compares her ranch to "a desert."

Haralson has had to sell 100 of her 250 cows and ranchers across drought-hit areas are doing the same -- a trend that could raise beef prices next year, when fewer cows will be around to sell.

Forecasters say 4-6 in. of rain are needed to end the drought in Arkansas. Some rain is likely over the next few days, but there's nothing that significant on the horizon.

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