The remains of Hurricane Isaac, which hammered the Gulf Coast and is currently moving north into the Midwest, could damage what is left of the Corn Belt’s corn crop, some experts say, potentially leading to even higher prices as an already limited supply dwindles further.
After months of devastating drought conditions (which stretched across the country and affected more than one-third of the nation), farmers in the Midwest are in the middle of harvesting what’s left of their battered corn crop. Some states in the Corn Belt report that only 15 percent of their crop is in good condition. Despite the losses, farmers are attempting to salvage what they can, hoping that higher prices can help mitigate the worst of the weather conditions.
However, Hurricane Isaac may complicate these goals. While the storm’s strength will be greatly reduced by the time it reaches the Midwest, it is still expected to generate up to seven inches of rain along with severe winds.
The rain is certainly a pleasant change of pace for Midwestern farmers who have seen record low precipitation this summer, but it comes at a difficult time in the harvesting process. Too much rain could muddy fields to the point where it becomes difficult to harvest crops. In addition, strong winds could break corn plants already weakened by the drought.
As of Monday, only 6 percent of the nation’s corn crop was harvested, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. All that remains for farmers is to bring in their crop as quickly as possible.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer