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Serving: Central

Midwest floods will affect prices

Forecasters say that on May 25 the Mississippi will crest at around 37 feet (3 feet above flood stage). That's the highest level in over five years (when the river rose to over 40 feet in Memphis) and it could go even higher if forecasted rains appear.

“The Midwest (which is experiencing flood conditions similar to 1995, when corn reached $5) will probably have 2 million to 3 million acres less corn acres planted. That should mean better prices for Delta corn,” says William Johnson, Arkansas Extension corn specialist. “If corn gets up to $3 per bushel and you can make 150 bushels, that's $450 gross for a $260 input. That's fair money.

“The Delta doesn't have the problems the Midwest is having, but we're not escaping the excess water either. The White River is set to overflow its banks again this weekend (May 17-19). Missouri got a lot of rain that will impact Arkansas rivers very soon.”

From Corning to Clarendon, the wheat crops planted beside the river are going to get wet yet again. And farmers who have sown rice in the backwater will have to deal with flooded fields, too.

Midwest flooding could also mean that Delta soybean prices will be in for a rough summer. The area best-known for producing great corn won't be able to plant much of it and will likely go with soybeans instead.

“There could be an additional 2 million acres of soybeans,” says Johnson.

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