Cool, wet spring dampens US corn crop
A cold, wet spring put crop planting weeks behind
schedule across much of the US Corn Belt and drastically slowed growth where
corn is already in the ground.
Depending on the right mix of sun, heat, rain and cool, the poor weather
conditions could drive prices of corn up even further.
Farmers in parts
of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana are replanting corn that either sat under water in
flooded fields too long to germinate or cannot break through soaked, compacted
And the cool, damp weather continues. Being a semi-tropical plant
corn needs heat to grow.
Planting behind schedule
Department of Agriculture said 88% of the corn crop has been planted. Last year
at this time, farmers were all but finished.
This year's figure doesn't
account for farmers who have to replant - that number will not be known for
The later corn is planted, the less it will yield. Corn
planted in mid June in central Illinois, for instance, is likely to produce only
about half what it would if planted in early May.
Late planting and USDA
projections that farmers will plant less corn this year have supported corn
prices, keeping them near record highs.
National Weather Service maps
show wet, soggy soil stretches across the heart of the Corn Belt, from eastern
Nebraska and Iowa through Ohio, where only two-thirds of the crop is in the
Weather forecasts offer potentially bad news. Cooler, wetter
weather than usual is expected for the next month in the Corn
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