The sub-par corn harvest of 2012 is coming in early, after the worst growing conditions in more than 2 decades.
“We’ve been really dry all summer," farmer Bill Simmons says. "I talked to an older gentleman some time ago that said he had taken 47 crops off of his farm and this was about the worst that he’d ever seen it."
Simmons is combining 13-hundred acres of corn on the Clan Farm outside Atlantic, Iowa. Multiple varieties were planted, but one field turned out to be especially interesting: a 300-acre section devoted to AQUAmax, a new drought-resistant product from DuPont Pioneer.
This year’s drought is beginning to take a toll on building’s foundations. Heather Bain’s home in Moberly has been affected by the drought. Her home is in need of foundation repairs. After the lack of rain the clay is shrinking leaving her dry wall cracking, her doors sticking and the trim no longer meets the floor.
Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some – but not all – farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.
Currently, the USDA expects the prices of beef, pork, poultry and dairy to shoot up five percent next year. You can blame the drought for a lot of that increase as this summer a lot of small livestock producers are struggling just to stay in business.
A version of this story ran on KBIA's Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.