For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.
"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:43 am
The information farmers are getting from Twitter can help them decide how and when to market their grain.
A few years ago, if Bill Graff wanted to find out whether other farmers' fields looked anything like his, he'd make some calls and check an online bulletin board. It might take him a few days, even a week, to get a sense of how his crops stacked up against others in his region.
Now Graff, 53, who grows 1,400 acres of corn, soybean, wheat and hay in central Illinois, checks his Twitter feed. "I can get a half-way decent idea of what's going on out there instantaneously," Graff says.
A drought stricken corn field in Weld County, Colo, in July.
Credit Kirk Siegler
With the severe drought still gripping the region, two Colorado Republican lawmakers are asking the federal government to extend an emergency order that opened up more lands for livestock grazing and haying.
Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.