The past several months have been a meteorological disaster for American farmers. Over the past few weeks farmers from North Dakota to Texas have experienced heavy rain, floods, droughts, and wildfires, all of which have combined to cripple agricultural production.
Corn production, in particular, has been heavily hit by extreme rainfall. Planting throughout the Midwest was halted by extreme rainfalls, leading many experts to predict an all time low in corn production.
Despite the extreme weather, however, corn production for the year may reach record highs. While many farmers saw their Spring crop delayed because of the cold, wet weather, improved weather in the past few weeks, along with major catch-up efforts by farmers across the Midwest, may lead to larger than expected yields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently estimating the year’s corn crop planting to reach 92.3 million acres, 9 percent larger than last year’s planting.
The larger than expected planning has eased worries by farmers and consumers. Given the increased demand posed by increased ethanol production, American consumers saw food prices skyrocket, in part due to lower corn and grain yields. Total estimates for 2011 place increased food prices at about 4 percent.
A larger yield, however, will help blunt or even lower food prices at supermarkets. Some experts have estimated that consumer can expect a drop in food prices as early as 2012, a welcome relief for a nation currently in the grip of a serious recession and a sluggish economy.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer