Bring on the Rain
Mother Nature has not been kind to corn fields across much of the Midwest. Hot temperatures and drought conditions are threatening the crop. Some farmers have had to give up on parched and stunted fields. Parts of five corn-growing states are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions. Nearly half of the corn crop is rated very poor to poor in four states – with more than a quarter rated very poor to poor in an additional five states. Overall – as of Monday – just 48-percent of the nation’s crop is rated good to excellent – with 22-percent rated very poor to poor. Just 14-percent of the crop was rated very poor to poor one week ago.
Some crop insurance agents and ag economists are comparing the current situation with the devastating drought of 1988. Some farmers are alluding to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. With the pollination phase fast approaching in many states – a lot is resting on the weather of the coming days. Even if it does start raining – Illinois farmer Don Duvall says growers won’t harvest the bumper crop everyone talked about. He says the situation has gone from ideal to tragic. He has watched two of his fields dry up and die – and with every day that passes – Duvall says more corn will be abandoned.
There are some more optimistic outlooks. Some experts say it’s difficult to know what the final crop will look like until later in the summer. In some states – like Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Iowa – the crop appears healthy and strong. The corn crop is rated 82, 81, 66 and 62-percent good to excellent respectively.