Mideast Instability Could Boost Demand for Iowa Corn

Iowa farmer harvesting corn crop. (WHO-HD)

Iowa farmer harvesting corn crop. (WHO-HD)

COLLINS, Iowa –In the middle of July, it’s exactly what a farmer wants their corn to look like.

“When the silk starts to turn brown, it tells you’ve started having pollination on those kernels,” said Dave Struthers, a farmer from Collins.

As strange as it sounds, the corn crop looks so good that farmers like Dave Struthers may have a tough time selling it at a fair price.

“I would guess this corn is 180 bushels or better because conditions have been really good,” said Struthers.

Farmers across the country are expecting high yields that will outpace the demand for their product.

“We’re seeing the effects of a good looking crop nationwide,” Struthers told Channel 13 News.

This has caused prices to dip below $4.00 per bushel, a far cry from the $5 and $6 dollars paid over the past two years.

With so much corn being produced in the United States, higher prices rely on finding new places to sell to. This is why Chad Hart, an economist at Iowa State University says farmers should keep a close eye on the turmoil in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a huge exporter of corn and wheat. With them in military conflict, they can’t move their crop into other markets,” said Hart.

While prices have held steady so far, increased tension overseas could cause countries in Asia and the Middle East to look to the United States and not Ukraine for corn.

“Anytime you have downward prices, you hope that new markets open up. Instability leads to opportunity,” Hart told Channel 13 News.

If those prices do rise, expect farmers like Struthers to sell.

“It could go anywhere that the market wants it.”

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