Record corn crop may not produce record profits - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Record corn crop may not produce record profits

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NEAR DEXTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Nationwide, the USDA says farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936.

Farmer Peter Tangren says, "If we have a normal year, we're going to have a huge corn crop."

The USDA's report indicates that corn remains profitable. As he stares at a snowy, frozen field, Tangren says, not so fast.

He explains, "They were expecting what they call a carryout of corn from last year's crop, they were expecting about 5 billion bushels instead there's 5.4 billion bushels still around. Suddenly they have 8% more corn than they thought they had. Bottom line, what does that mean for you? Prices are going to go down. Prices went down today and I expect them to go down between now and harvest."

And it's not necessarily going to mean cheaper corn on your dinner table this year - we're not talking about sweet corn but corn that's used for ethanol, animal feed and export.

Whether or not this will be an average year - one producing those large yields that are forecast - is still up in the air.

Tangren says, "The USDA will tell you once you get past May 5 to May 10 you lose about a percent of yield a day. So that can get expensive if you have delayed planting because of weather or whatever. So you want to have the corn planted by May 5."

Tangren tells me the outlook didn't cause him to plan for extra corn crops.

He says after nearly 40 years of farming he's to the point where he keeps it pretty equal when it comes to corn and beans.

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