Siouxland ag officials say take planting predictions with grain - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland ag officials say take planting predictions with grain of salt

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LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -

The U.S. Ag Department estimates farmers across the nation will plant more corn than in the past seven decades.  New numbers show farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year.  That's the most since 1936.

With last year's drought, Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Joel De Jong says farmers are cautiously optimistic about their yield.  However, he says the price of corn, and the demand for it, will drive farmers to plant more seeds.

"Farmers are following market signals, and the market says the price of corn looks pretty good.  Expenses continue to go up, but when we start looking at the comparison, hey the best return on investment looks like it could easily be corn production," says Joel De Jong, ISU Extension Agronomist.

De Jong does say to take the Ag Department's estimate with a grain of salt.  He says estimates in March tend to drop because of planting problems.  If the conditions aren't right, he says farmers will switch to soybeans, instead.

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