06 Jul '12, 2pm

Sudden desert: Midwest drought is bad news for farmers and eaters

Sudden desert: Midwest drought is bad news for farmers and eaters

What do you say to a corn stalk ravaged by a heat wave? Nothing. Its ears are stunted. Corn growers throughout the Midwest this summer are facing an extraordinary ordeal that climate scientists have predicted could become the new ordinary. This year’s growing season has been consistently dry and warm, leading to stunted stalk growth, and many of the corn-growing states are now sweltering through record-breaking heat during a critical stage of kernel development with nary a storm in sight. As The New York Times reported this week , “the sweltering temperatures and a lack of rain are threatening what had been expected to be the nation’s largest corn crop in generations.” The business journalists — whose audience is those who gamble on corn’s futures — have also been reporting the story . “About 50 percent of the corn-producing area of the Midwest is running significant moist...

Full article: http://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/sudden-desert-mid...

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