U.S. farmers expected to harvest record corn crop

PEMBERVILLE, OH (Toledo News Now) - The United States Department of Agriculture is expecting American farmers to produce a record 14.8 billion bushels of corn this year to meet high global demand. Locally, farmers are optimistic for the upcoming harvest.

"The corn went into the ground, and most of it was out of the ground within three weeks. And it hasn't been stressed, everything's fairly healthy at this point," said Roger Burtchin of Pemberville.

An early planting this spring has him weeks ahead of schedule, and Burtchin is not alone. Most corn farmers are dealing with similar conditions nationwide. That, along with more and more farmers planting corn, has led the USDA to project a record year for corn production in the United States. And it will be needed, as the demand for corn goes up every year.

"Now, the supply is absolutely critical. We've got to have these big crops year after year after year unless something changes," said Marc Schaller, general manger of the Countyline Co-op in Pemberville

The demand comes with the rising popularity of Ethanol, exports to China and more than 5 billion bushels of corn being used as feed yearly. A surplus would help, but the projected large crop is still far off.

"We are a long way from a finished crop. The crop has just emerged out of the ground, and there are so many factors that go into a finished crop," said Burtchin.

If the projections are accurate though, the surplus would lower the price of corn to about $4.60 a bushel, which would help farmers feed their livestock, and next calendar year could help lower grocery prices. But for now, Roger Burtchin says all he can do now is wait and see.

"You know, my philosophy always is, we plant it, put it in the ground and the good lord make it grow. We have no control over a lot of that cycle of what happens," said Burtchin.

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