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Eye-Popping Corn Crop

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U-S farmers have planted more acres of corn this year than any year since World War Two. That sent prices plunging this morning (Friday) on the Chicago markets.

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Farmers planted about 93 million acres this year, according to the U-S Department of Agriculture.

It’s a 19 percent increase over last year, and it beat most predictions. Analysts say it’s driven largely by high demand for ethanol.

Corn prices fell sharply in the hours after the report came out.

Analyst Jack Scoville of Price Futures Group in Chicago says the big picture still looks good for corn planters.

SCOVILLE: Prices overall remain very favorable for farmers. And they should remain fairly strong on a relative basis compared to the last few years, because the ethanol demand is very, very good. (11s)

Scoville says July is a crucial time.

Weather conditions during the month will determine how much corn all those acres will yield.

He says rain over the last week or so has significantly helped farmers in Illinois.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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