The wet spring and summer gave farmers fits for early season planting. Predictions were that we'd see a low crop yield this year, adding to economic woes.
But the spring dried up enough for farmers to get a later start on corn planting, and the 2008 corn crop is looking like a record yield. Things may not be so rosy for the soy bean farmers.
An aquaintance of mine is a farmer in Southern Illinois. I asked him yesterday how things were looking for this year. He farms corn and soy beans.
He described the soy crop as "lots of bushy plants" but "few pods" and for the pods they have there are "few beans". So this doesn't sound like a weather problem. It sounds like a bee problem.
There is concern among scientists that the US is experiencing a serious reduction in the number of pollenating bees. In this busy world of presidential election cycles, global warming, war in the middle east, and a weak economy, maybe we should be thinking more about our friends, the tiny honey bee?