Iowa farmers are growing more frustrated as corn prices are falling to a point lower than what the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted prior to the start of harvest. Jerry Norton, a corn analyst for the U.S.D.A., says prices have been dropping, so the agency lowered its average corn price last week for the entire marketing year.
“Part of that has to do with the fact that even though we have a crop problem this year, this crop is still at 10.7-billion bushels,” Norton says. “That’s a large crop. We’ve seen a lot of early corn movement for several reasons, part of it because there’s just not a lot of carry in the market, encouraging farmers to hold on to corn at this point.”
With the long-running drought, early predictions were for an abysmal crop which drove up prices. Harvest season started early due to dry conditions and the corn ended up being much better quality and quantity than expected. Norton says prices are so much lower because the crop was decent and farmers are selling, bringing up supply and lowering demand. In time, he says, things could turn around.
“It looks like the price level should be moving higher over time but we haven’t seen the price levels we would have thought we’d have seen by now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it develops over the next few weeks,” he says.
The weekly crop report from the U.S.D.A. out Monday finds 93-percent of the corn crop had been harvested statewide, which was a month ahead of schedule, and 96-percent of the Iowa soybean crop is in from the fields, almost three weeks ahead of normal.