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Farmer Tom Zaputil holds two ears of corn from his field. The ear on the right is fairly normal and healthy, he said, but much of his crop looks like the underdeveloped ear on the left.

Brooke Sherrard/The Daily Iowegian, Centerville
CNHI News Service

A combination of the third hottest July in the past 140 years and the fifth driest growing season have doomed much of this year’s Iowa corn crop.

Much of the state received rain last week, but the crop conditions didn’t improve, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The rain came too late for Iowa's corn and wind "flattened the weakened crop in some areas," the report said.

The assessment offered a bleak, one-sentence summary of conditions: "Farmers continue to chop corn." Almost half of the corn statewide was rated as poor or very poor.

Soybeans are in better shape. Forty-one percent rate as fair and 24 percent are good, according to the report.

Economists have warned that sagging crop production is expected to lead to higher food prices at the grocery store.

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Details for this story were provided by The Ottumwa (Iowa) Courier.