U.S. Farmers Facing Reality Check as Drought Hits Corn, Soybeans

Springtime optimism turning to summertime angst for farmers

Springtime optimism has devolved into summertime angst for farmers such as Chris Barron, who’ve been forced to scale back once-lofty expectations for their corn and soybean crops as drought expanded across much of the U.S. Midwest.

Barron said his cropland, near Cedar Rapids in northeastern Iowa, received about 0.94 inch of rainfall so far in June, or about 20 percent of the 30-year average for the month. He’s trimmed his harvest outlook accordingly, with his corn and soybean plots likely generating yields 7 percent to 10 percent below what he estimated a few months ago.

“We’ve got the potential for an average crop,” said Barron, a member of a farmer partnership that raises crops on about 7,000 acres. “The opportunity to have an above-average crop is gone. That’s just the reality.”

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