Corn price hits all-time high

Corn prices raced to a record high Monday as the hot, dry summer relentlessly pounded crops across much of the country.

Corn for September delivery gained 21.5 cents, or 2.7 percent, to end at $8.20 per bushel, which was an all-time high. December corn rose 20.75 cents, or 2.6 percent, to end at $8.14 per bushel. Soybeans rose 2.6 percent.

Expectations are mounting that harvests will be smaller than anticipated for both crops because of the drought, which covers some two-thirds of the continental U.S.

Corn fields, particularly east of the Mississippi River, have been hit the hardest. Some farmers are harvesting what they can salvage to sell for livestock feed. Others may forgo harvest and leave the fields alone, analysts say.

Most analysts believe the corn crop is beyond repair now. That is driving up prices because global inventories on hand already are tight.

Soybeans, which are planted after corn, also are suffering the ill-effects of the dry, hot weather. Some analysts think at least a portion of the crop could be salvaged if substantial rain hits within the next couple of weeks, while others think it may be too late.

Wheat prices also are increasing on questions about the impact that adverse weather is having on crops in Russia and the Ukraine.

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