Agriculture: Blighted Corn

Midwestern farmers ordinarily welcome summer rains because they hasten the ripening of lucrative crops. This season's rainfall has been unusually heavy, accompanied by high humidity and winds from the hurricane-laden skies of the South. Last week farmers discovered to their dismay that the combination threatened calamity to the cornbelt states of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, endangering the nation's biggest cash crop.

Corn in the three states, which produce more than half of the nation's supply, is being attacked by a virulent fungus disease. It eats through the tender leaves of young plants, causes weakened stalks to collapse and, at worst,...

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