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Missouri farmers dealing with drought and tariffs

"This corn will be January when I can sell a bushel for a half dollar more," said farmer Denny Mertz, who tests the moisture level on newly harvested corn before he stores it on the silo on Wednesday, Sept. Sept. 26, 2018, in Elsberry. "It's not beating the system, it's the way to survive," said Mertz, responding to choosing to sell the corn in winter when the selling price will be higher. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

A rebound in Missouri's slumping farm sector helped the state keep pace with the nation's 2.0% economic growth in this year's second quarter.

New inflation-adjusted data from the U.S. Commerce Department show Missouri's gross domestic product growth as 18th best among states in the April-June quarter. Illinois, with GDP growth of 1.2 percent, ranked 41st.

Missouri's $330.5 billion economy accounts for 1.5 percent of U.S. GDP. Illinois' $893.6 billion GDP is 4.2 percent of the national total.

The scientific and professional services industry was the biggest contributor to growth in Missouri, followed closely by agriculture. The farm economy, hurt by low commodity prices, had been a drag on growth in recent years.

Texas had the fastest-growing state economy in the second quarter; Hawaii had the slowest.

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