One of the worst growing seasons most U.S. farmers can remember is coming to an end with a corn harvest that’s at least three weeks early. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that 4 percent of the corn harvest is complete. Normally, just 1 percent of the crop is in at this point in August.
The USDA predicted a record harvest in the spring, when farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn – the most since 1937. But the agency has been reducing its estimate since then as unusual heat disrupted pollination and a severe drought centered over the middle of the country.