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U.S. corn prices gaining strength

Published on 23 October, 2006, Last updated at 10:33 GMT


U.S. corn growers are being pleasantly surprised by an unexpected rise in the price of their crops.

Many had entered harvest expecting to store their crop and wait for higher market prices but the wait already is over, Chris Hurt, Purdue University agricultural economist, said Monday.

'It looks like we`ll have higher prices the rest of this year and into early next year,' Hurt said.

Soybean prices remain flat but likely will head up in 2007, as farmers plant more acres of corn and fewer acres of soybeans, he added.

Corn prices surged this past week when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a corn production estimate lower than what it had projected in September.

The department predicted the nation`s farmers would produce 10.9 billion bushels of corn this year, at an average yield of 153.5 bushels per acre. U.S. production estimate dipped 2 percent from the September projection. Indiana growers are expected to produce 882.8 million bushels of corn this year, at a per-acre average of 165 bushels.

Markets reacted quickly, catching some people by surprise, Hurt said.


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