The president-elect of the Iowa Corn Growers Association isn’t worried that other crops will be shorted as farmers plant more corn. Recent surveys show a record number of acres will be planted in corn, 90.5 million acres nationwide.
Tim Recker farms in Fayette County near Arlington, and he says you can hardly blame producers for responding to the high prices being paid for corn right now. He mentions corn and soybean rotation, but says, "When the market’s telling us to grow corn, I’m taking fifteen-percent of my acres and I plan to grow more corn on them. I’ve still got quite a few soybean acres, and if the soybean price moves in a positive direction, I will make that decision to plant more soybeans."
The boom in ethanol production is fueling the price of corn, and Recker doesn’t see any change in that ahead. He says consumers don’t need to worry about costly food, or the prospect of other products becoming scarce because everybody’s growing corn this year. "Our neighbors to the south, in South America, are doing a great job of raising soybeans," Recker says. He says it doesn’t mean he’ll quit growing soybeans to plant all corn, but notes that the market rewards it right now, and farmers are responding.
Like other corn farmers, Recker says consumers will be able to count on them for "food, feed and fuel." The same report that showed Iowa corn acreage increasing ten-percent and nationally a fifteen-percent increase in corn planting — also showed soybean acres are projected to drop by eleven-percent. Recker’s also quoted as saying he doesn’t expect farmers to take marginal farmland out of conservation just so they can grow more crops.