GRAPES OF WRATH: The severe drought is forcing the government to slash its expectations for corn and soybean production, the second time that has happened in as many months. If the U.S. Department of Agriculture is right, it will be the lowest average corn yield in more than 15 years.

NOT SO GOOD EARTH: The USDA, in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, now expects corn growers to average 123.4 bushels per acre, down 24 bushels from last year in what would be the lowest average yield in 17 years. Soybean production is now forecast at 2.69 billion bushels, a 12 percent decline from last year and well off the 3.05 billion bushels the USDA had expected last month. The expected average yield of 36.1 bushels per acre would be the lowest since 2003.

TALE OF TWO CITIES: Corn farmers only months ago expected a record year when they sowed 96.4 million acres — the most since 1937. The USDA now predicts only 87.4 million acres will be harvested.