13 August 1999
US crops ‘unharmed by drought’ — USDA

THE US Department of Agriculture says severe droughts on the eastern seaboard are not likely to harm crops or lower prices.

But although modest rises were predicted for corn and soyabean prices, most farmers would still not cover their production costs.

The agricultural industry is lobbying for central government help.

National harvests look fairly steady, thanks to relatively normal growing seasons in most of the Midwest.

The agriculture department estimates corn production at 9.6 billion bushels this year, down 4% on last years total. Wheat is forecast to come in at 2.3bn bushels, down 9%.