He said one problem he has encountered as a grain buyer this year is the increased competition in the market. He noted that several of the states where he normally sources his corn were also hardest hit by the drought, and that drove prices of available corn even higher.
There were hopes that the newer, drought-tolerant corn varieties that farmers planted would offer some protection against this year's dry, sweltering conditions. But Dickson said these new varieties are not miracle workers and cannot turn a crop in areas that were completely deprived of rain and subjected to intense heat.
"Even with the best genetically advanced seed, it's very difficult to overcome stressful environmental conditions as bad as they were this past summer," Karlin said, adding that had farmers not used drought-resistant corn, "it could have been worse."