In the wake of the devastating heat wave and drought which covered much of the United States this year, it has become clear that there will be less corn available on the market for the remainder of the year and for much of 2013 than there had been in recent years. Livestock, poultry, and ethanol producers already have been hit especially hard by the sharp increase in the price of corn, because corn comprises such a large portion of their production costs. Many livestock and poultry producers have had to liquidate herds and flocks as pastures and forage crops withered, and a number of ethanol producers have had to shut down or curtail production at plants. Further effects will be rippling through the U.S. and global economy in the months ahead.