Many Farmers Eye More Ears

Cindy Zimmerman

While U.S. farmers are undoubtedly planning to increase corn acreage this year, the higher prices are exciting farmers outside the country as well.

According to this Associated Press report, corn farmers in Mexico and Latin America are gearing up to increase acreage to cash in on the potential for a greater need for corn worldwide as more U.S. corn goes into ethanol production. That could mean a great deal for struggling farmers in many countries.

Brazil and Argentina, the Western Hemisphere’s biggest corn exporters after the U.S., are expecting near-record harvests in 2007. Also in the top 10 is Mexico, corn’s birthplace, and farmers here are rapidly boosting production.

Brazil, whose ethanol industry is fueled mostly by sugar cane, is also working on an agreement with the U.S. to share scientific research and development for biofuels.

Mexican farmers who now plant corn on 21 million acres are proposing expanding that by 4.3 million acres this year alone. They also want the government to fund the irrigation of another 1.9 million acres, said Carlos Salazar of the National Confederation of Mexican Corn Growers.

Ethanol, International, News