Corn Belt

Corn
jungmoon / Flickr

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that over 90 percent of U.S. field corn is genetically modified. That figure has nearly doubled over the past 10 years.

Most of the corn farmers plant has been embedded with a gene—usually from a bacteria—that protects the corn from pests or herbicides.

Ten years ago, less than half of the corn planted had a genetically modified trait. Today, 93 percent of all field corn does, up from 90 percent last year.

Corn disease declines in corn belt, spreads to new areas

Oct 10, 2013
cornfield
Peter Blanchard / Flickr

The dry conditions of the past two growing seasons may have frustrated many Missouri corn farmers, but it may have had at least one positive effect on their crop. A corn disease that peaked in 2011 has been on the wane.

Until recently, Goss’s Wilt was confined to eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. Then, beginning in 2008, it moved eastward, infecting farms across the corn belt. Iowa State University plant pathologist Alison Robertson says modern hybrid corn varieties may be to blame for the resurgence. 

File / KBIA

Climatologists say recent rain and snowstorms are slowly easing the grip of the worst U.S. drought in decades. But the wet weather also is creating some potential headaches.