Farmers Planning Largest Commodity Crop in Recent History

With corn and soybean prices at an all-time high, farmers across the country are planning the largest commodities crop in a generation. The record crop will be dominated by corn, which will see its largest planting since World War 2. Made possible by ample farm loans for corn farmers the record commodity crop could lead to record profits for American farmers.
The sheer amount of planned acreage is astonishing. The total acreage planted could exceed 226 million acres. Access to farm subsidies and farm loans, which themselves are made possible by increased demand for ethanol, is allowing American farmers the freedom to maximize planting like never before. In addition, the expiration of many Conservation Reserve contracts, combined with the willingness of farmers to take out farm loans at the expense of direct government payments, has led to a corn boom not seen in decades.
While the increased commodity harvests will take advantage of temporarily increased prices, they will also help to shore up international shortages. Crop failures in South America have caused corn shortages, and, while farm loans and federal subsidies were largely designed to encourage ethanol production, the increased planting could make up for lost crops and could potentially keep food prices from further increasing.
In addition to maximizing farm profits, many farmers see increased commodity crops as a way to stay afloat. Forced to take out farm loans and emergency loans in the face of extreme weather, and facing an unusually dry winter, maximizing profits by increasing planting could mean the difference between profitability and a continued reliance on federal subsidies and federal farm loans. While many farmers are optimistic about the continuation of vital farm programs, the failure of Congress to pass a new Farm Bill, and the likelihood that they will not do so by the end of the year, has made many farmers wary of relying on federal farm loans and farm subsidies. Reaping major profits with an expanded corn harvest, therefore, represents a way for worried farmers to avoid reliance on farm loans.