Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Higher Corn Checkoff Rate Propopsed

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is proposing to raise the corn checkoff rate from 1/4 cent per bushell to 3/8 cent per bushell. The current rate has been in effect since 1983. The vote was 13-1 by the ICMB board to approve this idea. Corn producers will have to approve the referendum to make it effective at an upcoming election this spring.

Illinois State University Business Professor, Carson Varner commented:

“We will also need to improve and market the growing volume of livestock feed product (distillers dried grains and solubles) being created as a co-product of ethanol production. This is a symptom of our success, however, the livestock industry is one of our best customers so we must address this soon.”Carson Varner, an Illinois State University business professor whose family operates a farm near Danville, presented results of a study on the history of corn prices over the last century and how those early prices correlate to today’s prices.“I’ve looked at the prices over the last 100 years, and the average price of corn, looking at the trend, has been $8 a bushel. It is now $4 a bushel,” Varner explained.He added the trend line for corn prices, when taking into consideration today’s dollar value, has decreased since the 1940s. In addition, gross receipts in corn production have declined steadily over the last 25 years, he said.The trend makes marketing and research that much more important, according to Varner.

Information on the voting can be obtained on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.

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