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Shift to Corn May Reverse in 2008

Many producers may shift from corn back to other crops next year.

With the demand for corn booming because of ethanol, many farmers shifted more acres to corn this year, planting fewer acres to soybeans. According to USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins, in 2008 the trend may be the opposite.

"Wheat and soybean prices are much stronger relative to corn than they were a year ago," Collins says. "And with fertilizer prices at very high levels, we expect many more soybean acres and fewer corn and cotton acres in 2008. These shifts will help replenish the tight grain supply and help reduce the more abundant corn and cotton supplies."

Demand for all those crops will continue to be very high with prices near or above record levels. However Collins says while farmers should enjoy the good times but save the windfall because the history of the agricultural economy is cyclical and downturns will come.

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