Louisiana Corn Harvest to Set Record

July 3, 2007

Reported by: Associated Press

As Louisiana farmers pick corn over cotton this year and try to cash in on the high price corn is fetching because of soaring ethanol production, they also are scrambling to find places to store what may be a record harvest.

Louisiana farmers planted corn on more than 700,000 acres, more than double the amount planted in 2006 and the corn crop could yield a record 91 million bushels this year.

Corn prices have fluctuated between three dollars, 25 cents and $4 a bushel chiefly because of the commodity's usage in ethanol production and that's prompted state farmers to cut down on the amount of cotton planted and turn to corn.

Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter agricultural economist, says they are looking at historic highs in acres planted, potential production, potential yield, and return on investment.

Most farms have storage, but not nearly enough for what is coming. Therefore, a lot of farms will have to truck their harvest to nearby bins for storage.

Charles Vanderlick, manager of Central Louisiana Grain near Boyce, has been preparing for the influx of corn. But, he said there is not enough bin space in this state to hold the full amount of corn.

Nationwide farmers have planted 90.5 million acres of corn, up 15% from 2006 and 11% higher than 2005.

The US Department of Agriculture says it's the highest acreage since 1944, when 95.5 million acres of corn were planted.