Demand for renewable fuel sources helps corn growers

| 3/30/2007

High corn prices driven by the popularity of renewable fuels are having a positive effect for the growers, agriculture officials say.

Corn production is expected to increase by 15 percent this year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns stated in a report released Friday, March 30, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn is the raw material used to make ethanol, a renewable fuel used in the current marketplace to supplement gasoline.

More farmers are turning to corn in the Corn Belt and Great Plains this year than crops such as soybeans, Johanns stated in the report, even though soybeans are a growing source for renewable biodiesel.

Corn prices are driving the market, with a possible 90.5 million acres expected to be planted in 2007 – the highest production level since 1944.

Soybean production is expected to decrease in many areas where corn is dominating. However, the report indicated that soybean production is increasing in several southeastern states, particularly in Georgia.