Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Are the good times over for Iowa corn?

11:26 PM, May. 12, 2012

A price drop would have effects throughout the state's economy.

Iowa’s farmers and state economy watchers face the reality that a “historically rare period” of prosperity for Iowa agriculture may be ending.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week forecast a return to more normal corn surpluses of almost 2 billion bushels. The more ample supplies could drive down corn prices to as low as $4.20 per bushel by year’s end, compared with an average price of $6.20 in 2011, the USDA predicted.

If the forecast holds, the impact will ripple across Iowa’s economy. During the ag boom, farmers with cash to spend have bid up land prices and bought new tractors and combines. Deere & Co., seed companies and other manufacturers have added thousands of workers to meet demand.

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