Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Summer rains in Iowa, Illinois push corn prices down, ethanol makers' prospects up

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois: Corn farmers in the United States are not the only ones who have been thankful for rain in the last few weeks.

Ethanol producers are also happy that the rain helped the corn — their main ingredient — rebound from what was shaping up to be a mediocre growing season.

Rain has fallen off and on through most of July in parts of the central and eastern Corn Belt, just as the crop started pollinating. The rain has improved the health of the crop and, to the delight of ethanol makers, driven down corn prices.

"This has really helped to increased the profitability for ethanol producers," said Rick Kment, an ethanol analyst with DTN, an agricultural market information company based in Omaha, Nebraska....

From the IHT

On the other hand:
The corn gamble: It's the crop of the year -- but will it make it?

DANE -- The corn soars head-high on Ripp's Dairy Valley here north of Madison.

Green leaves flutter in the breeze as dairyman Chuck Ripp surveys his fields on a humid July morning.

But looks don't tell the story. A lack of significant rain this month -- Thursday and Friday's was spotty -- has farmers worrying.

"The corn is really tall but that's kind of deceiving," said Ripp. "We're getting into a real critical time."...

From the Madison Capitol Times