22 May 1998
US grain farmers fear crop damage from El Niño

FARMERS in the heart of the US grain belt are nervous about the possible tail-end effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon – despite the fact that planting is well ahead of schedule.

Farmers in Des Moines, Iowa, fear that a prolonged period of parching heat could re-emerge later in the growing season causing damage.

Wet weather early in the growing season benefited plantings, but temperatures are now hitting 100°F (38°C). Mexico has been gripped by drought and US cereal growers fear the dry weather could head northwards.

  • Drought threat to N American maize, FWi Markets, yesterday (21 May) — Click here
  • Financial Times 22/05/98 page 28