I wiped my palms on my jeans, tugged at the bill of my baseball hat, and took a deep breath. It was my first time competing in the annual Illinois State Corn Husking Contest at the end of September and I was nervous.
Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance. "Does it look hazy up there?" he asked. "We only had a 20% chance today. We shouldn't get any rain."
With the price of farmland at record levels across the Corn Belt, many farmers have been renting acres to plant. Now, with the price of corn and soybeans in freefall, farmers that depend on renting risk big losses if they’re unable to negotiate lower rents.