The New Shakeout

In the Chicago grain pits, traders had a nervous eye on the calendar. Exactly a year ago, grain prices had tumbled in the worst shakeout in seven years. Last week traders had more than the calendar to make them nervous. The Department of Agriculture announced that it would not put any acreage restrictions on this year's corn crop. With the market already glutted, that seemed to mean another big crop and still lower prices ahead.

Traders swarmed into the corn-futures pit waving orders to sell. The selling deluge quickly spread to wheat, oats and rye. Prices tumbled. By week's end,...

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