Drought gives corn farmers that sinking feeling

The year 2012 was supposed to be a record year for corn production in the United States.

Instead we got a record-breaking drought, the worst in decades.

cornyield-vs-acresplanted

U.S. corn yields (bushels per acre). Red bars: Historic yields 2000-2011. Green bars outlined with red dashed line: Projected yield for 2012 as a function of the month in which the projection was made showing the drop in projected yield as the drought has taken hold. Blue line: Area (in millions of acres) planted for 2000-2012. (Sources: All numbers from U.S.D.A. Quick Stats except June and July estimates, which are from the Des Moines Register.)

And here’s another projection. According to the National Weather Service, and despite the deluge courtesy of Hurricane Isaac, the drought is predicted to continue through November.

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