NCGA: More acres help farmers produce larger surplus

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The efforts of American farmers to increase the corn supply have ensured that, despite extremely difficult growing conditions, they will be able to meet the nation's corn needs according to U.S. Department of Agriculture report released last week.

Although estimates were revised to reflect the toll extreme heat and drought conditions have taken on much of the crop, the 4.5 million additional acres planted this year will still help farmers build our nation's corn surplus to nearly 1.2 billion bushels.

"It is of the utmost importance that we remain calm at this point and recognize that falling temperatures and well-timed rain could still improve crop condition," said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.

"Our staff, as well as farmers across the country, continually monitor weather and field information. We know that markets will adjust, as the reports indicate, but also urge a calm, measured reaction. No one truly knows how this crop will turn out until the fall. It's imperative that everyone act accordingly."

The possible drought impacts indicated in the reports clearly demonstrate the need for Congress to work swiftly and pass a 2012 farm bill this year, Niemeyer stressed. Crop insurance and risk management tools are necessary for our country, by providing critical assistance to farmers when they face crop losses due to adverse weather conditions, crop disease or volatile markets.

"Our farmers, who have invested so much time and money into their fields, will not be the ones making money from high corn prices if they don't have the bushels to sell in the end," said Niemeyer.

"We continually want to increase production and do an excellent job of supplying abundant, quality corn. We hope that reports will reflect an understanding of the personal impact the drought takes on those farmers forced to watch their hard work wilt in the fields, helpless to change the weather."

While basic economic principles dictate that a lowering supply will most probably cause increased commodity prices, the effect of higher corn prices does not significantly impact that of retail foods.

Notably, the amount of corn in an average box of corn flakes costs less than a dime. This holds true also for meat and poultry prices, with the amount of corn in a hamburger coming to only about a quarter dollar. Thus, any possible rise will have negligible impact upon the average family.

"Farmers have invested both the sweat of their brow and their financial resources in this crop, and we maintain hope that improving weather conditions will improve it yet," said Niemeyer.

"At the same time, we know how great of a financial investment farmers have put into it. Rising land, fuel, fertilizer and nutrient costs have raised how much a farmer must invest in every acre grown. We urge Congress to pass a farm bill promptly and support the families who provide our nation with this abundant resource as they face such adverse conditions beyond their control."

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