Farmers Enjoy Record-High Corn Prices
"In general, we like high prices, but it comes at a cost because we have to balance the idea of livestock and grain," he said. "When you're involved in both industries, one's a positive and one's a negative. But in general, because of higher fuel costs and higher fertilizer costs, the higher prices for our commodity is a real positive thing."
Sweet corn, which is for human consumption, is different from corn used to produce ethanol. However, demand is growing for ethanol-producing corn and that has pushed prices to their highest in the past 10 years.
"Our prices are set by what's called the Chicago Board of Trade and we don't really have a chance to set the price that we want for production," said farmer Darin Schnarre. "We hope that it's a price that we can afford to produce it at."
Corn prices rose to $2.25 a bushel last year. Now, the average price per bushel is $3.93. Mid-Missouri producers said prices jumped so much this year because a hot, dry July reduced corn yields nationwide.
"We think there's good reason to expect that the current level of prices may well stay in place for quite some time to come because we have a lot of demand for ethanol in front of us, a lot of demand for corn for other purposes as well," said Patrick Westhoff, University of Missouri agricultural economist.
Westhoff said increased corn production will meet some of that demand in 2007.