Due to the growing demands of the ethanol industry and strong demands from export customers, Purdue University extension economist Chris Hurt says next spring's U.S. corn acreage will reach the highest levels in recent history.
Hurt is predicting corn acreage in the spring of 2007 to increase by 10 million acres to almost 90 million acres - a level not matched since 1946, when
"There's no question at this point that we're going to need a massive corn increase in 2007," Hurt says. "That increase is driven primarily by ethanol, but we also have very strong export demand. That export demand is driven mostly by the fact that there is a fear that corn supplies are going to be very tight in the
About 2.1 billion bushels of the 2006 corn crop will go to ethanol production at the 106 ethanol plants currently running the U.S. 53 new plants are expected in 2007, demanding perhaps an additional 1.4 billion bushels, according to data from the Renewable Fuels Association.
Hurt also says corn prices may skyrocket due to tight demand for
Much of the new corn acreage would have to come from current soybean acreage in the