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Amber Heaps Of Grain

In Goodland, Kansas, it is raining corn -- Kansas Gold.

Man-made mountains of feed grains tower 55 feet high. And it couldn't come at a worse time. Silos still bulge with last year's crop.

Farmer Vance Ehmke says, "That's the second crop that we haven't sold. And there's just no place to put store it so we're putting it on the ground."

More than 60 million bushels are piled onto these makeshift holding areas, in part because of a shortage of buyers overseas.

"Our production is basically outstripping our demand and that's because of the turmoil that Asia is in right now and we've lost our exports," said Doug Irvin.

Rather than sell at depressed prices, farmers are hanging on to their harvest.

Irvin said, "Hopefully the exports will pick up and things will be looking quite a bit better next year. That's all we farm for, next year."

It used to be when the bottom fell out farmers could count on Uncle Sam, but those subsidies and price supports are being phased out which leaves today's farmer for the first time vulnerable to the same market forces that govern everyone else, the law of supply and demand.

Kansas farmers say they don't mind the challenge but they take exception to U.S. trade sanctions that shut them out of up to 20 percent of the world market.

Ehmke said, "Eisenhower, a famous Kansan, years ago had a very simple trade policy, sell'em anything they can't shoot back at you."

Normally a time of celebration, this harvest is tinged with frustration. American farmers, struggling to compete on their own, are finding abundance doesn't necessarily translate into wealth.

Reported by Cynthia Bowers
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