Last year, much was made about the drought in the US and corn production. Of course, we’re not in drought conditions anymore….
But, as farmers are, they’re concerned about the upcoming corn season…….. but does it really have anything to do with the drought?
Return to crop rotation?
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Farmers in top U.S. grain states are planning to rotate to other crops after repeated plantings of corn on the same fields, combined with a devastating drought in 2012, badly hurt yields.
Farmers in Iowa and Illinois, which accounted for almost 30 percent of U.S. corn production in 2012, are expected to shift some acreage that was seeded exclusively with corn over the past several years to soybeans this spring. They want to avoid another year of potentially significant losses as dry conditions persist, said agricultural market analysts and economists.
A move away from corn in those states may further drive up world food prices, which are already historically high, because corn stockpiles in the United States, the world’s top exporter, are forecast to hit a 17-year low by the end of the summer.
Soaring corn prices, due in part to surging demand for ethanol, in recent years have encouraged a greater amount of corn being planted on the same land year-after-year despite the fact the practice depletes soil of nutrients and reduces yields.
Well, you can read the rest with the link provided. Here’s what happened…….
The price of corn went through the roof because of our stupid ethanol idiocy. Farmers made the calculated risk to keep going to the well until it ran dry. And, it got dry last year. Corn depletes the soil of nitrogen, soybeans help replenish it. But, the price of corn was up so high, the farmers decided to farm corn until the yields and cost diminished the returns. And, that’s what happened last year. The farmers didn’t forget rotation, it just wasn’t worth it in the short run. And, farmers continually deal in the short run. I saw some of this happen in the area I live in and wondered how long they could continue this. Well, now we know.
Of course, an easy solution would be to end ethanol subsidies and mandates, but ending stupidity is something Washington isn’t very good at.