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Feeling the heat

The heat has been brutal in the nation's midsection for the last 2 weeks. Temperatures have surged past previous records, with places like Rockford, Illinois, for example, hitting 100 degrees for the first time in over 2 decades. Though there's going to be a break from the heat wave over the next few days, the mercury looks to bounce back up toward the month's end.

How's the heat wave affecting your farm? If you're a corn farmer, you've probably watched your fields take a yield hit from the surging temperatures and spotty rainfall. Or if you raise cattle, you may be having trouble keeping your herd healthy. And, when it comes to the grain markets, the heat wave hasn't sent things through the roof yet despite the growing number of reports of crop. But, that can turn on a dime this time of year, one analyst says.

See all the latest reports on the heat wave and learn how you can minimize its effects on your farm business.

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Severe crop stress in store

Temperatures in general fell a bit short of my expectations Wednesday in the Midwest, but make no mistake that it was a hot one with highs most everywhere reaching 95 or higher a few spots making 100 degrees.

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Heat trimming corn yields

It's hot out there. And, your corn doesn't like it any more than you do. Data from the last 35 years in Illinois illustrate just how much yield potential could be trimmed by hotter-than-normal temperatures in July and August.

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Losing cattle from the heat?

The current heat wave is really slamming cattle herds around the Midwest. If your herd's been hit with losses related to the triple-digit temperatures, you may be eligible for assistance from USDA.

Weather, weather, weather

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"The market now is dictated by three main items: Weather, weather, and weather! After all, it's July and the heat dome of doom has set itself up in the central Corn Belt where it is providing heat to nearly the entire US growing area," writes Agriculture.com market analyst Ray Grabanski. "There seems to be more agreement that this week's heat is starting to do some damage, as the crop is starting to tassel and hit the reproductive stage of development. That turns the tide a bit, as during pollination a lot of bad things can occur with excessive heat."

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