January 28, 2020

Producers Respond to Market Signals- More Corn Expected

I. Corn, Energy Issues
II. Conservation
III. Doha
IV. House Agriculture Subcommittee Leadership Named

I. Corn, Energy Issues

Associated Press writer John Seewer reported yesterday that, “Growing cotton is a family tradition on Webb Bozeman’s farm in central Mississippi. But not this year.

“Inspired by soaring demand for corn to feed the growing ethanol industry, Bozeman is joining a large number of farmers across the country who will plant corn instead of soybeans, wheat or cotton.

“Some in the Midwest are ending their longtime practice of rotating plantings of soybeans one year and corn the next, opting to grow corn in consecutive years. Livestock farmers are turning pastures into corn fields.

“‘We have farmers half-joking about planting corn in their front yards,’ said Matt Roberts, an agricultural economist at Ohio State University. ‘A lot of farmers see this as an opportunity to have a very good year.’”

“Wall Street commodity funds that have been investing heavily in energy futures are now loading up on agricultural commodities like corn and livestock futures” (The New York Times- 1.19).

The A.P. story added that, “Some farmers thinking about planting corn year after year, might also have to deal with pest problems and higher costs for fertilizer and seed, said Bruce Erickson, a Purdue University agricultural economist. Additionally, fields growing the same crop tend to produce less each year. That’s why most farmers rotate crops to maintain nutrients in the soil and deter insects and weeds.

“‘Most scientific research shows a 10 percent drop in yield when you plant corn on corn,’ Erickson said.

“In Louisiana, the number of acres devoted to corn likely will double and could triple, said David Bollich, a grain marketing specialist with the Louisiana Farm Bureau.”