Searing heat jeopardizes corn, soybean crops in Midwest

Source: E&E • Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Drought regions in the Midwest are continuing to expand, according to a report by climate experts released Thursday.

High temperatures and low water levels have decimated the region’s corn crop and are negatively affecting soybean yields.

“Every day we go without significant rain … is tightening the noose,” said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the University of Nebraska’s National Drought Mitigation Center.

Iowa’s drought area doubled, going from 31 percent of the state just a week ago to 69 percent. Ninety-four percent of Missouri and more than 81 percent of Illinois are experiencing at least extreme drought.

Fifty-three percent of the nation’s corn-growing farmland and half of U.S. soybean fields are suffering from the drought, according to government data.