Drought draining Midwest farmers

Posted August 15, 2005: Experts are already calling it the worst drought since 1998 and with another dry one expected today, relief for farmers across the Midwest has been slow coming. Wells are drying up as are major rivers; corn and soybean fields are wilting, while insects thrive. Illinois, the country’s second-largest producer of corn, has already reported a 12 percent drop in yields compared to last year. But it’s not only in the fields that farmers are facing the stress of a hotter than usual summer they are also paying for it there and back. Water levels have sunken so low this year officials were forced to close a seven-mile stretch of the Ohio River on Friday. This is just the latest in ongoing weather related shipping issues that has caused transportation costs to soar. Now commodity analysts fear these added expenditures may price U.S. commodities out of the reach of foreign markets. For more on this story to go:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/15/national/15drought.html?th&emc=th