Rain from Isaac may not help corn growers

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US Drought Severity

Dried corn plants stand in a field near Mead, Neb. (AP Photo)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Some farmers in the Midwest who’ve endured the nation’s worst drought in two generations are worried that the approaching remnants of Hurricane Isaac may be too much of a good thing.

Forecasters believe Isaac could slide into Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio as soon as tomorrow, bringing as much as 12 inches of rain. But that kind of drenching may be too little too late for corn growers. And it could actually work against them by making fields too muddy for the harvesting equipment.

Strong winds from the storm could also knock over corn stalks that have been weakened by the drought. Parts of the Corn Belt that got a good soaking last weekend saw the extent of their drought conditions level off or slightly improve, according to a drought-tracking effort.

But the outlook is still bleak for corn growers. The Agriculture Department reported this week that 52 percent of the crop was listed as being in very poor or poor shape. Soybeans, which could benefit from more rain because it’s earlier in the growing season, were faring only slightly better.

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