The price for a bushel of corn has dramatically increased in the past year.
Chad Hart, an Iowa State University economist, says corn prices are soaring because the demand from the ethanol and livestock industries, plus demand for U.S. corn exports, are larger than yield projections.
“Last summer we had corn prices in some cases down around $3.50 a bushel,” Hart says. “Now we’re up in the $6 to $7 range, so we’ve seen nearly a doubling of prices, if you will, over the past 15 months.”
The U.S.D.A. predicts corn prices will remain high over the next year, as flooding and drought hit other parts of the corn belt. Iowa, however, is pegged to produce a record amount of corn — 2.43 billion bushels — and the value of that crop will be high as purchasers compete for the limited supply.
“China’s been a very early buyer of the corn crop we’re growing now,” Hart says. “…That’s something that’s got the market a little worked up right now.”
The grocery bills for consumers are hit by the higher corn prices, as products like meat, milk and eggs get more expensive as farmers spend more to buy the corn they feed their animals.