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Corn and soybean prices up 50-60% from last year

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Corn and soybeans are nearing record prices in Iowa. They have risen up to 50-60% of the cost they were a year ago.

Many factors are at play when determining the cost of these crops, but weather related issues come to the forefront.

"The drought of 2020 has turned into the drought of 2021," says Chad Hart, Crop Market Specialist and Professor at Iowa State University. "I'll point back to the last time we saw prices like this would've been from the drought of 2012."

The current cost of corn is around $6/bushel. Soybean are a bit higher at $13/bushel.

"There's profitability in it no doubt about that, but we're coming off a few years from (20) 17, (20) 18, (20) 19, and (20) 20. that were pretty rough in agriculture," says Jeff Jorgenson, President of the Iowa Soybean Association and local farmer.

Hart says there are some drawbacks to these higher prices. Currently fertilizer and machinery is costing farmers a bit more. "Just like we've seen prices rise on one end, costs are rising on the other side," says Hart.

Weather is not the only factor that impacts crop prices. Currently, local demand in Iowa is on the rise mainly due to loosened COVID-19 restrictions allowing more people to visit restaurants.

"We see these restaurants open back up, we're seeing this surge in demand that was as well," says Hart.

International demand remains somewhat high, but has dropped off a bit in the last week or so.

"We've talked about how good the market is over the last two months and within the last week or so, it's come down over a dollar. So as things go up, things can come down just the same way," says Jorgenson.

Although the cost by harvest time cannot be determined quite yet, Jorgenson says it could go either way depending on the state of the drought.

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"There could be a shorter crop than what was anticipated, but you know our hope as farmers of Iowa is that we can raise a good crop and have a good price to go along with it," says Jorgenson.

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