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2012-07-04. Searing Sun and Drought Shrivel Corn in Midwest

posted Jul 12, 2012, 4:18 PM by Lisa Ou
 | by Monica Davey, The NY Times. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8 and Losing Biodiversity chapter 5. Excerpt: Across a wide stretch of the Midwest, sweltering temperatures and a lack of rain are threatening what had been expected to be the nation’s largest corn crop in generations. Already, some farmers in Illinois and Missouri have given up on parched and stunted fields, mowing them over. National experts say parts of five corn-growing states, including Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions...Crop insurance agents and agricultural economists are watching closely, a few comparing the situation with the devastating drought of 1988, when corn yields shriveled significantly, while some farmers have begun alluding, unhappily, to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Far more is at stake in the coming pivotal days: with the brief, delicate phase of pollination imminent in many states, miles and miles of corn will rise or fall on whether rain soon appears and temperatures moderate...The driest, hottest conditions have steered clear of some crucial Corn Belt states, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Iowa, the nation’s most prolific corn producer…. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/us/for-midwest-corn-crop-the-pressure-rises-like-the-heat.html