Corn Belt Benefits From Recent Rains, but Farmers Worry About Isaac

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Growers in Illinois and other farm states who've been struggling with drought conditions welcomed recent rains that eased the dryness of parched crops.

But with Hurricane Isaac's remnants crawling their way, some farmers wonder whether too much relief is on the horizon.

Forecasters expect Isaac could slide into Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio as early as Friday -- dumping as much as 12 inches of rain on the region.

That kind of deluge is usually welcomed by farmers, but it could actually work against them by making fields too muddy for harvesting equipment.

Kenneth Metcalf farms nearly 600 acres of corn and 120 of soybeans near Mechanicsburg in central Illinois, and he's also concerned about the potential for strong winds. He says the corn isn't very stable and 50-plus-mile-per-hour winds would just break the stalks off.

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