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Serving: United States

Farmers Consider Replacing Wheat with Corn

As the expansion of the ethanol industry pushes corn acreage up, some farmers are considering planting corn in place of already planted wheat.

As the U.S. ethanol industry continues to expand, the resulting high corn prices have driven up some corn acreage estimates for 2007 to nearly 90 million acres. Although soybean acreage may slip to make room for corn, agricultural economists say 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.

"If the corn price stays up and wheat price stays where it is, it's pretty attractive to consider," he says in a Dow Jones release.

Even though Klein says Nebraska may have never had its farmers kill off their wheat crops, the high corn prices - Chicago Board of Trade March corn was at $3.86 3/4 per bushel on Wednesday - are far from ordinary, too.

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