Farmers in the Midwest are beginning to see what was expected to be the nation’s largest corn crop in generations shrivel in the fields. The New York Times reports that “sweltering temperatures and a lack of rain” are taking over.

The article continues that, “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. And in at least nine states, conditions in one-fifth to one-half of cornfields have been deemed poor or very poor, federal authorities reported this week, a notable shift from the high expectations of just a month ago.”

For more on this from the New York Times, click here.

Before the severity of the drought this year, American farmers had high expectations for corn, “planting 96.4 million acres of it…High prices and an expectation of strong returns made this year’s planting the largest corn acreage in 75 years.”

The next few weeks of corn plants’ tassels shedding pollen to fertilize the silks and create kernels are crucial for the region. However, there is a fear that the stressed and withered corn plants may not pollinate at all. “This is a very narrow window for corn, and there’s little room for error,” said Brad Rippey, an agricultural meteorologist for the United States Department of Agriculture.“Whatever happens in that window, it is what it is — that cob is made or broken.”

This article posted July 8, 2012.