CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Agriculture experts say the record 92 million acres of corn that American farmers planted this year virtually guarantees a big crop, but the hot dry weather of the past weeks is sapping some of its potential.
Corn expert Roger Elmore at Iowa State University, for instance, says a lot of that state's corn suffered through too much dry heat when it was developing.
And in some places, drought and heat have been harsh.
Farmer Dale Richter (RIHK'-ter) of St. Rose (Illinois), about 40 miles east of St. Louis, says it's rained twice at his farm this summer and temperatures last week regularly topped 100. He harvested some of his corn weeks early because it stopped developing.
Richter says his crop isn't bad, just not what it could have been.
Richter and others say a potentially bigger problem is the Midwest soybean crop. It's not as far along as corn and badly needs rain to develop.