As the American harvest period passes, signs of the worst corn and soybean crop in over 20 years are looming over farmers, consumers and governments. July’s record-breaking temperatures across the Midwestern corn belt have left much of the crop in ‘thermal shock’ – where baking heat dries the crop out and scorches it brown, rendering the corn unable to photosynthesise or produce pollen. A report by the US Department of Agriculture estimated that by mid-August only 23% of the total corn harvest was ‘good to excellent’, with the rest rated between ‘very poor’ and ‘average’. The total corn harvest ...


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