NE Farm Economists: Price of corn highest in nearly a decade, positive impact on farmers

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 7:37 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The price of corn is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade and it’s impacting Nebraska farmers and consumers in a big way.

To begin the month of May, the price per bushel of corn hit $7.62, the highest it’s been nationwide since October 2012. According to Business Insider, corn prices have jumped 142% in the last year and United States exports of corn have more than doubled from a year ago.

Economists said the biggest impact in the U.S. is China’s corn shortage and their growing livestock industry. All of those factors are leaving Nebraska’s farmers very happy.

“If you’re a corn producer it’s going to be very positive. For the first time in a number of years, we are looking at the potential for positive returns for corn farming, which we probably haven’t seen in close to a decade,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau economist, Jay Rempe.

Rempe said Nebraska is a big cattle feeding state and corn is used in the feeding, making it more expensive to feed livestock.

Trends show that these positive returns, are in turn, used to buy more equipment and spilled back out into the rural economy.

Since the corn still needs to be harvested and processed, experts said corn consumers shouldn’t notice any immediate impact on the price of corn. There are other areas where we could see much higher prices.

“As the months go by then we’ll start seeing higher prices reflect themselves in the food stores and the things that they buy. Particularly at the meat counter and even in restaurants. If you go out and have your favorite steak, you might see some higher prices for that because of the cost it takes to raise that animal,” said Rempe.

Experts explained that the last time prices were this high a lot of younger farmers were attracted into the industry and that could be the case again.

There’s no guarantee when predicting prices, but experts said the fundamentals are in line for corn prices to remain high and possibly increase in the near future.

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