NPR Story
5:30 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Louisiana corn farmers expect bumper crop

The corn harvest in Louisiana is in full swing, and on the stalks are large ears of corn. Ronnie Levy, LSU AgCenter’s corn specialist, said Louisiana farmers are expecting a bumper crop. The state has about 700,000 acres of corn, a significant increase over recent years. But the difference this year, according to Levy, is the price of a bushel of corn is about half of what it was last year, since the harvest in the Midwest is expected to be equally abundant.

"Last year, they (Louisiana farmers) probably had the best of both worlds," Levy said. "Last year, we probably saw some of the higher prices for corn we’ve ever seen, and we had a record yield in Louisiana, so profitability was very good for producers."

LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry identifies multiple factors that contribute to the downward shift in price, including slower growth in ethanol production, low cattle numbers and increased competition in the world export market. But, he said, corn futures could always rebound, and that’s what Louisiana farmers are hoping for.

“Because we were at lower prices today, doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be at lower prices in two to three weeks. These markets are very, very volatile," Guidry said.

Louisiana’s corn harvest will likely continue into early September. Guidry said pretty much the entire corn crop is mature.


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