Low corn price worries eastern Iowa farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Low corn price worries eastern Iowa farmers

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Eastern Iowa farmers say the weather this time of year is ideal for entering the harvest season. However, the discrepancy between the cost of corn production and the price per bushel is anything but ideal. As a result, farmers are anxious and prepare themselves to lose money this year.

"They're going to bed with ulcers, because their calculators are telling them all kinds of zeros," David Ulrich said, a farmer in Cedar Falls.

Ulrich farms corn and soybeans, and has for years. This year, though, he says he's set to lose money. It costs roughly $4 to produce one bushel of corn, and it's priced at $3. Therefore, farmers can lose a hard dollar on every bushel.

The average Iowa farmer can have anywhere from 30,000 to 75,000 bushels of corn, so losing a dollar per bushel has the potential to amount to thousands, even millions, of dollars in some cases.

Ulrich said for another perspective, farmers could stand to lose anywhere from a penny to a nickel on a single ear of corn.

"You don't really feel that enthused... to break even, why even put it in the ground," Ulrich said.

With bills and other expenses, though, Ulrich said farmers must make difficult decisions. Farmers have to decide what to do with their corn, as they could choose to store it, sell it or price it later.

"If you know you can't make money on it next year, the wise farmer is just going to give it up. You can't farm just for the fun of it anymore," Ulrich said.

He said consumers won't see a higher price for corn at the grocery store. Some farmers have already begun harvesting, but many farmers start around Oct. 1.
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