Government records show that in recent years, the U.S. has been sweltering through three times more than its normal share of extra-hot summer nights. Scientists say the lack of cooling off at night doesn't allow people to recover from the often triple-digit daytime temperatures.
Those high temperatures also affect crops. With heat, drought, and occasional rains, private forecasters are trying to determine this autumn's harvest.
This week, FCStone released is crop forecast for the 2006-07 growing year. The private firm estimates the corn crop at 10.887 (B) billion bushels with a yield of 151 bushels per acre. Another forecasting firm, Informa, pegs its corn crop estimate just a bit lower, citing adverse conditions in parts of the Western corn belt.
In soybeans, FCStone estimates the crop at 3.056 (B) billion bushels with a yield of 41.3 bushels per acre. The numbers are comparable to the estimate released by Informa.
The Agriculture Department releases its crop estimates August 11.