From the Ground Up - Smaller Corn Crop Could Affect Prices

When a farmer makes his plans for planting in any given year, he has to consider many things that are completely beyond his control, not the least being the weather and market prices, and while expert predictions are available for consideration, those are also vulnerable to changes that take place that affect their original assumptions.

David Gibson is the executive director of the Texas Corn Producers Board.

“I think when we look at the state as a whole, we’re very deficit in our soil moisture. I think we’re looking at potentially a real challenging crop if we don’t continue to get timely rains, and that’s basically from the Red River all the way down to the Rio Grande Valley.”

Gibson says it looks like there will be less corn planted in Texas and the U.S. this year, when compared to 2013.

“Cotton has replaced some with the market challenges we saw earlier with cotton be higher, corn being lower, or grains in general, so the signs were just telling growers to look at planting more cotton.”

It was late last year when economists were predicting lower corn prices, but global events could impact corn prices.

“We’ve got the dynamics going on in the Ukraine area with Russia, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that the Ukraine area is the third largest exporter of corn in the world, and with our world demand growing, turmoil there has certainly boosted our market, and then we throw in decreased plantings, and those were just some things that weren’t there when economists were making their best predictions.”

The vast majority of Texas corn produced is used to feed livestock, so if you’re wondering if you’re eating products produced by local farmers, the answer is yes, but probably not in the way you think.

“Someone out of the Houston area, even the Bryan College Station area would think that the corn they see here growing in the Brazos Valley or along the Coastal Bend is going to wind up on that table. Well, even that, it does wind up on your table, but it’s usually in a pork product, or a poultry product, or some other type of meat.”

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