High Corn Yields Might Impact Farmers' Income

5 years 1 week 7 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2013 Oct 15, 2013 Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:23:00 PM CDT October 15, 2013 in News
By: Elizabeth Kuhlman, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Corn yields are 64 percent higher in Missouri this year compared to last year. This increase has cut the price of corn in nearly half from last year's price. This price drop has left farmers anticipating a decrease of income this year. 

Even though yields are higher, the recent drought forced the USDA to lower its expectations for yields of field corn, soybeans and sorghum crops. Right now, the USDA predicts that farmers will harvest 125 bushels of corn per acre. That is down five bushels from the USDA's August predictions. 

"Towards July and in through August we had a very dry period, and that dryness just affected plant growth," Missouri state statistician Bob Garino said. 

However this year's drought did not affect corn yields to the extent that it did last year. Last year, the USDA reports that Missouri produced 75 bushels of field corn per acre. 

The price of corn in Missouri last year was $7 per bushel. This year the price of field corn is listed at $4.50 according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service. 

For corn farmer Jay Fischer, the lower prices could impact his income this year. He said he that he is anticipating to harvest more corn this year, so hopefully he will be able to sell more and the low prices with high sales will even each other out. 

However Fischer said that the cost of growing corn is still rising.

"If the prices (of corn) continue to drop, it sure is going to be a concern," Fischer said. 

MU Agricultural and Applied Economics Professor Ray Massey said the low prices might mean trouble for crop producers, but for the consumers of those crops it is a plus. 

"The price of hog and poultry feed has gone down," Massey said. "So the price of producing those livestock have gone."

Massey said that when the price to produce livestock goes down, consumers can expect to see cheaper poultry items in grocery stores in about six months. 

Fischer now is just focusing on enjoying his field full of corn.  

"Watching a good crop grow is a good feeling," Fischer said. 

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