Corn prices drop on prospect of ample harvestby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
Worthington, Minn. — U.S. and Minnesota farmers have planted more corn than expected and the prospect of an ample harvest is driving prices sharply lower.
High corn prices prompted U.S. farmers to increase their planting of the crop 5 percent over last year.
The U.S Department Agriculture said Minnesota farmers also increased their corn acreage by about 5 percent, to more than 8 million acres. If the weather stays favorable, that means there should be a bigger-than-expected fall harvest.
Grain traders reacted to the news by bidding corn prices lower. One futures contract dropped more than 10 percent in early trading. That could cut profits for corn farmers, but the lower prices are good news for others.
It should help reduce food inflation, estimated at 4 percent this year. It also means lower costs for livestock producers who feed corn to their cattle, hogs and chickens.