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US Crop Tour Stokes Fears of Looming Corn Shortage

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Parched soils. Grasshopper infestations. Scorching heat. Hail damage. This year’s US corn crop has been put through the wringer -- and it shows.

Things are so bad that scouts currently on a four-day tour through the Midwest are finding plants that are stunted and browning. Scores of fields have visible impact from pests. Cobs of grain are unusually small, and sometimes, stalks aren’t producing the ears at all.