Farmers fear impact from Katrina

ILLINOIS - His face smudged with dark grit, Glen Mueller stepped down from a mammoth combine this week and stared out across a corn crop jeopardized by quandaries far larger than the machinery towering over him.

He and other farmers are facing a double whammy as the harvest begins. The record yields of last year are a faded memory, replaced by crops parched, browned and thinned by months of drought.

And now, damage done by Hurricane Katrina threatens to push up the cost and create delays in getting this year's crop to export terminals down the Mississippi River.

"It's going to be a rough year," says Mueller, his clothes covered with a fine dust of pulverized corn husks and stalks. "I just hope to make enough to be here next year."

Even as the river reopens to shipping, the snarled barge traffic caused by Katrina continues to threaten the ability of Mueller and other farmers to get their grain to overseas markets. Many farm cooperatives and grain elevators say they have little, if any, storage space for farmers who still haven't even hit the stride of their harvests.

Source: AgriNews
calendar icon 20 September 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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