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U.S. Farm Economy Reverses as Drought Impacts Persist

The long reach of last summer's devastating U.S. drought has reversed the flow of the mighty Mississippi River - for corn, at least, with grain-laden barges beginning the rare movement north to Midwest ethanol plants from southern farms.The shipments come as the U.S. faces a 17-year low in corn supplies by the end of the month due to the historic drought, which slashed harvests and sent grain prices to record highs a year ago.The tight supply is upending the country's tradition-bound agricultural economy, which is holding its breath in the weeks before an expected record harvest begins some time next month following a wet spring and summer.Grain, which typically flows south on the river to export markets, is heading north from states like Louisiana and Arkansas, where farmers begin harvesting earlier than their Midwestern counterparts. Normally, much of that grain would ship overseas, but after prices climbed following the drought, exports are set to drop to a 41-year low.Ocean-going v...

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