Corn Prices Expected to Rise

6 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Monday, April 23 2012 Apr 23, 2012 Monday, April 23, 2012 12:56:00 PM CDT April 23, 2012 in News
By: Karl Roskamp

COLUMBIA - Researchers said Monday a new published report shows climate change is likely to increase the price of corn if more heat tolerate varieties aren't grown

The study published on Sunday by the journal Natural Climate Change suggests that over the next three decades, the climate will have more influence on corn prices than the cost of fuel or farm equipment.  Excessive heat or moisture will also impact prices.

"Expect an increase in flooding and dry events," Anthony Lupo, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Mizzou said. "I think that is more likely than one or the other simply because of our (Missouri's) proximity to the Gulf of Mexico."

Lupo believes the weather over the next three decades will be more variable, but said the average temperature should rise "a degree to seven or eight degrees higher." Lupo added the higher temperatures might reduce the dangers of frost damage on crops in the spring and fall.

The changes in corn prices aren't dictated just by the climate.  According to farmer David Kottman, "Corn fluctuates typically from a few pennies to as much as 50 cents (per bushel) in a day."

Kottman, who has grown corn, soy beans and wheat in his 32 years as a farmer, said corn prices may rise as much as "a dollar or two per season."

The price of corn has climbed over the past five decades. The cost has increased each decade since 1960 with the exception of the 1990s.  Since 2005, the cost per metric ton of corn has nearly doubled from approximately $150 to $280 in 2012. 

If corn costs continue to climb, the packing and shipping industries will feel the impact most, rather than the food industry.  While corn is in foods from cereal to soft drinks and bread to baking mixes, the amount of corn as a percentage is higher in products like ethanol or some plastics.

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