Farmers to plant more corn in 2012 than anytime since WWII - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Farmers to plant more corn in 2012 than anytime since WWII


Dunkerton farmer Dustin Sage is looking forward to getting an early start in his family's bean and corn fields.

"I don't really get too concerned about how warm it is, cause it's been known to snow in April," he commented, "We're about 50/50 right now, and I don't see any reason to really change."

But many farmers in Iowa, and around the country, are changing the makeup of their fields -- and they do have a good reason.

"Producers can probably average $180 bushel corn. At $5 a bushel, that's $900 an acre. Beans, even at $12.50 which was the high just recently, that's still only about $550 per acre gross income," said Dunkerton Co-op Grain Manager Wil Manweiler.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is reporting farmers will plant more corn this year than at any time since World War II.

According to Friday's report, producers are planting 95.9 million acres of corn nationwide. That's up four percent from last year, and the most in American history since 1937 when farmers planted 97.2 million acres.

But farming technology has come a long way since the thirties -- the yield in 1937 was just 2.5 billion bushels. If this year's yields hold true to current trends -- farmers will harvest nearly 14.5 billion bushels of corn.

"If we do that, and come in with the right rain during the course of the summer, yeah, we could have record yields." said Manweiler.

Even if a record crop does result in a record harvest, Manweiler said that doesn't necessarily translate into a big payday for farmers when they go to cash in their crop.

"We could see below $5 corn next fall. Which, you know, that's probably getting close to the break even or below the cost of production for a lot of these guys," he said.

"In reality, we live on the margin," Sage noted. "The price difference between what we get paid and what we pay to produce the crop is about yea-much."

But farmers take any crop outlook report with a grain of salt. There's a lot that can change between now, and harvest.

"The weather is the big player here. And just because somebody predicts it's going to happen doesn't mean it will," Sage added.

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