Two months ago we reported that farmers had completed the largest corn planting in 75 years and if all went well throughout the growing season we could witness a record corn harvest and falling food prices. Fast forward to present day and drought like conditions have swept through much of the United States, slowing and in some cases completely destroying corn crops.
Conditions have become so bad in some areas that farmers are looking back on the drought of 1988 as a sign of the times. In Indiana, Ohio and three other major crop growing states a severe drought has destroyed many crops before they had a chance to pollinate. In nine other states the Federal government has listed conditions as “poor” to “very poor” for up to 50% of all corn fields.
At this point some crops can be saved more than others, specifically fields that manage to see lower temperatures and rain in the coming weeks.
One farmer in Illinois who watched two corn field died because of lack of rain tells the New York Times:
“It all quickly went from ideal to tragic. Every day that passes, more corn will be abandoned.”
That same farmer adds:
“But even if it starts raining now, there will not be that bumper crop everyone talked about.”
Thankfully the drought like conditions and much of the hot weather passed over some parts of the corn belt including Minnesota, North and South Dakota and western Iowa.
In other states including Kansas and Nebraska farms have been able to save their crops through irrigation systems put in place to avoid another “dust bowl” type scenario but that man made watering system costs money to run which in turn pushes crop prices higher in those areas.