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Wanted: More corn & soybean acres

Jeff Caldwell 01/12/2011 @ 9:48am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

We need more acres.

That's the biggest takeaway from Wednesday's USDA Crop Production and Stocks reports that ultimately indicate a balance table tilted strongly toward the demand side. And, for the first time in quite some time, it's not very clear where those acres are going to come from.

USDA released bullish crop and stocks numbers Wednesday, showing a combination of lower production and persistent demand worldwide for U.S. corn and soybeans, making for a tight marketplace that's right now being supplemented by unsteady crop weather conditions in crop areas around the world. That makes Wednesday's reports a bullish influence to the grain trade, and not just in the short term.

"The tightness is led by the corn market, but there's also a cinching-up in soybean acres," said David Hightower of The Hightower Report in Chicago Wednesday morning. "We really haven't passed through the weather pipeline in South America. We see that demand isn't rationing yet, and may get even tighter. These are very bullish, and it's a big-picture thing, not just an aberration."

David Hightower of The Hightower Report in Chicago, talks about the prospects for U.S. plantings in this spring, taking into account some of the input cost factors that could weigh heavier on corn plantings than in previous years (video by Mike McGinnis).


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more acres 01/14/2011 @ 10:05am "We need more acres" but Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) has been labeled by policy makers and biofuel proponents as "bad science". Hmmmm. How do you reconcile this? Seems that high grain prices will offset poorer yields or upfront expenses of taking marginal ground into crop production. That's how you get more acres. That's also the definition of ILUC, right? So, where's the "bad science" in ILUC?

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