France experienced its driest July on record as searing heat spread across Europe, putting strain in key crops. The average precipitation across the country was 8.1 millimeters (0.3 inches), making it the driest month since March 1961, forecaster Meteo France said on its website. Rainfall in Brittany, Auvergne and Corsica was at least 95% below the norm. The scorching temperatures and dryness have led to forest fires on France’s west coast and hit the nation’s farmers, hampering the key flowering period for corn fields. The share of the country’s corn crop in good or very good condition fell to 68% as of July 25 from 75% a week earlier, FranceAgriMer said on Friday. France faces a new heat wave this week, with temperatures expected to peak at about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the south of the country on Wednesday. Europe’s dry, hot summer is a stark […]