The Nation: The Farm Plague . . .

Given a combination of abundant rain, warm sunshine and winds in April, the Southern corn leaf blight that reduced last year's corn harvest in the U.S. by 10% could devastate the 1971 crop by as much as 50%. Already salesmen in the nation's corn belt are bootlegging blight-resistant seed at high prices.

In another era, such a prospect would have suggested almost unimaginable disaster, something like Ireland's potato famine of 1846-48. Veterans of the Depression's Dust Bowl might understand. But for other Americans, if the elements should conspire to bring on the corn blight, the effect would be all but unnoticed—at least...

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