A farming season that once appeared to be doomed by the weather has turned out pretty good for Midwest soybean and corn crops. But, to the surprise of farmers now harvesting soybeans and starting on corn, it's the fall of once record-high prices that now threatens to take a lot of the shine off of 2008.
Farmers in Illinois and Iowa, the country's top corn and soybean producers, endured wet, cool springs that slowed planting and growth. Then they watched heavy, soaking rains and rising rivers swamp their fields, forcing many to plant their crops two or even three times.
All the while, though, prices held close to the record highs of the past couple of years, price peaks driven by the ethanol boom and growing global demand for food and livestock feed.