By Jerry Perkins
Des Moines Register
Corn prices are rising, reflecting increased demand and lower than expected production, said Robert Wisner, Iowa State University Extension economist.
At the close of the market Friday, cash corn prices in Iowa averaged $2.49 a bushel, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said.
That's 32 percent higher than a month ago and 68 percent higher than a year ago.
Soybean prices in Iowa averaged $5.07 a bushel, 6 percent more than a month ago and the same as a year ago.
Wisner said prices for corn futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are at their highest level in about 18 months.
The corn market is being driven higher by several factors, Wisner said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday released a crop report that contained a lower corn production estimate than expected, a drought in Australia has cut that country's wheat crop in half, larger exports of U.S. corn are being reported and expectations are that demand for corn to make ethanol is going to be much higher in the coming year as more ethanol plants begin production, Wisner said.