St. Louis (AP) -- Across much of the nation's corn belt, growers finally have their crops in the ground, after spring rains swamped their fields and put them weeks behind schedule.
It's too early to say how the slowed planting from eastern Missouri across Illinois and Indiana and into Ohio could affect yields at harvest this fall.
But a shorter growing season could mean a smaller corn crop and higher prices that eventually trickle down to consumers.
The USDA reported Tuesday that as of last week, the crop was developing at a slower-than-normal pace across the corn belt because of the delayed planting.
Still, the agency says 70 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent, an 11 percentage point improvement over a year ago.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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