Thursday, January 31, 2008

Old Barns Make Way for Corn

The Wall Street Journal today has an article about planting acres in the United States and elsewhere around the world, one interesting note is the removal of old barnes, out buildings and fence rows as farm ground becomes more profitable making every acre count.

Come spring, Tim Recker plans to demolish two rotting barns and a dilapidated workshop on his 1,500-acre farm in Arlington, Iowa. In their place will sit about three acres of rich, black topsoil prime for capitalizing on the biggest global grain boom in decades. "Every acre is more valuable than it was five years ago," says Mr. Recker, a farmer and land excavator.

But farmers are cautious if this trend is going to last...

Farmers are left to wonder: Could the grain boom be another bubble like dot-com and housing? Crop prices have been bouncing up and down in recent weeks:
Wednesday of last week, corn trading on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped nearly 20 cents a bushel, the exchange-traded daily limit. The following day, corn was back up 20 cents, to nearly $5 a bushel, about where the March contract closed yesterday.

Minnesota grain farmer Kevin Paap says he is excited by the "potential" in the grain markets. But he says his "stomach's in a little bit of a knot because of all that risk both on the upside and the downside."

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