Ethanol Factor in Planting Decisions

Cindy Zimmerman

High corn prices driven by increased demand for ethanol are causing farmers of various commodities to seriously consider switching crops for 2007.

Farm Futures reports that Nebraska farmers are considering planting corn in place of wheat they’ve already sowed.

With wheat futures high, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension cropping systems specialist Bob Klein says Nebraska producers planted probably 15% more wheat this fall. Now, with corn prices high, Klein says producers may kill off some of that wheat with herbicide to make way for corn in the spring.

Further to the west, some cotton and silage producers are considering a switch, according to the Western Farm Press.

Farmers in California and Arizona with parched wallets are eyeing a dangling carrot that could lead to improved grower incomes for those willing to produce specific feed grains to meet the insatiable needs of the nation’s exploding ethanol industry.

In the West, grower opportunities range from planting flexible corn hybrids that yield high quality silage for dairies as well as corn for ethanol – to foregoing cotton production for corn and grain sorghum.

Ethanol, News