Farmers will plant more corn this year as ethanol drives up demand
MINNEAPOLIS - March 30, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released findings from its 2007 prospective plantings survey this morning, which show growers' plans to plant more acres of corn this year - more than 90 million - than in any year since World War II. That is an increase of 15 percent from last year's 78 million acres planted. The prospective planting survey is a strong signal of how this year's corn crop and prices will turn out, which can also affect livestock feed and consumer prices at the supermarket.
The USDA report shows growers' intentions to reduce soybean acreage by 11 percent from last year, to 67 million acres, in efforts to capitalize on soaring corn prices caused at large part by demand for ethanol. As President Bush pushes for increased ethanol production and use, corn prices have jumped to $4 per bushel from around $2 just two years ago.
High corn prices can spell trouble for livestock farmers, who need grains to feed their cattle, swine and poultry. The possibility of a rainy spring or a dry summer also has the market on edge, as either could drive demand and prices even higher. Eventually, high corn prices could lead to higher prices at the supermarket on meats and other corn-based foods.
"I want to emphasize that these are intentions of what people are going to look at planting. That can still change based on the weather situation as we move into the next two to three weeks," said Mark Schultz, vice president of Northstar Commodity, which provides commodity market analysis, trading and risk management services for growers, grain elevators, processors and investors around the world. "If it's ideal planting for corn, I expect those corn acres to go in. If it's not ideal planting, watch them switch back to soybeans."
About Northstar Commodity
Northstar Commodity provides information, analysis and advisory services to grain and livestock producers and agricultural businesses throughout the United States. Northstar Commodity is a division of AgMotion, Inc., along with US Commodities and AgMotion Technologies. AgMotion is based in Minneapolis and has offices in Kansas City, Kan., West Bend, Wis., and Irapuato, Mexico. As with all financial products and services, past performance is not an indication of future results. This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected on the basis of such forward-looking statements. (www.northstarcommodity.com)