Taking advantage of rising commodity prices, farmers across the country are preparing to plant the largest commodity crop in generations.
Currently at all time highs, expanding commodity prices are offering farmers an excellent opportunity to expand their businesses and increase their profit margins. The high crop prices are a reflection of the international demand for American agricultural goods. In the developing world, American soybeans are in high demand for use in animal feed and American corn is greatly valued at home and abroad for use in ethanol production.
In addition to these consumption pressures, recent events have encouraged expanded commodity planting. In South America, crop failures have created significant corn shortages. These shortages will help insure that demand remains high and that prices will not fall in the immediate future. In addition, many farmers’ Conservation Reserve contracts are up, allowing them to plant on long dormant land.
The total acreage planned for the upcoming crop is enormous, exceeding 200 million acres. Corn and wheat crops are expected to see the largest acreage increase, rising 2.5 and 5.4 percent respectively. The 2.5 percent corn increase represents an expansion the size of New Jersey.
These plans, however, are contingent on the weather. While many farmers remain hopeful that conditions will improve, current climatological conditions in the Midwest could hinder planting. The lack of rain and snowfall this fall and winter may lead to drier soil and fewer crops in the spring and summer.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer