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In this July 2012 photo, corn stalks struggling from lack of rain and a heat wave covering most of the country are seen in Farmingdale, Ill. AP Photo/Seth Perlman

Drought cut corn crop by about one-fourth

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DES MOINES, Iowa — For farmers like Earl Williams, last year couldn’t have started out better or ended much worse as a warm, sunny spring that let him plant early gave way to record heat and drought that devastated his corn.

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