Farmers could reap a record corn harvestby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
The U.S. Agriculture Department says Minnesota farmers could harvest a record corn crop this fall. The USDA released its first detailed estimate today of the harvest outlook.
The USDA estimates the Minnesota corn crop will be just under 1.2 billion bushels, topping the 2005 harvest.
The Minnesota bumper crop is part of an improving national outlook for corn production. Since widespread flooding in June, weather conditions have improved and boosted harvest prospects.
It's estimated the U.S. corn crop will total about 12.3 billion bushels. That's a 5 percent improvement over the previous forecast in July.
The improving crop has triggered a sharp drop in corn prices. That could help temper food price inflation.
Government statistics show that so far this year the average cost of food prepared in the home has increased almost 9 percent.
- Morning Edition, 08/12/2008, 8:25 a.m.