Ohio’s bumper crop of corn this year will likely equate to lower prices for consumers at the grocery store.
High yields both last year and this year are forcing a drop in prices not seen in the past five years. While this benefits shoppers, it’s not exactly what grain farmers like to see. Yields are up in most areas of Ohio, particularly in the western portion of the state, but Extension Educator Mark Mechling said many farmers in southeast Ohio may only see an average yield this year.
"As you drive around the area, you’ll see that some fields look very good, but other fields kind of look wavy," Mechling said. "There’s a lot of wet spots. You think back to May and June, and actually July, we’ve had a lot of rain. That rain has impacted the corn adversely in a lot of situations, particularly in some of our soils that are not well drained."
According to Mechling, prices at the elevator today would be around $3.60 a bushel, roughly half of what it was two years ago. Higher corn prices in past years have meant high meat prices in the grocery stores as well, but now, that will likely be changing.
"Because of the good prices that livestock producers are receiving right now and the relatively inexpensive grain that they’re able to purchase or raise, that will help them expand," Mechling said. "And hopefully in the long run, that will bring down some of these higher meat prices that we’re seeing."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s mid-year report said corn has the potential to reach 2003’s record of nearly 14 billion bushels nationally. Prices of other crops have fallen sharply as well with soybeans trading at two and a half year lows and wheat at near four year lows.