Farmer Eyes "King" Corn Investments
"The corn kernel is king right now," declared Ed Williams. He's a fifth-generation Iowa City farmer, and he's determined to seize the day on the ethanol and bio-fuel frenzy that's driven up the golden grain's price nearly 100% over recent months.
Williams, a member of the Bio-Development Association, told CNBC's Carl Quintanilla that his fellow agriculturists are watching the markets and demand carefully. He said that previously, the ratio of corn to soybean plantings were generally 50/50; now, most farmers are plotting a 75/25 ratio. The ramification for investors? Corn uses much more fertilizer, so look for those products' prices to rise, too -- and maybe a share boost for fertilizer makers like Bunge.
But amid the euphoria, Williams is still the farm pragmatist: he and his peers are protecting themselves against market vagaries via futures and options planning. As to the frenzy over corn-based ethanol, he muses that, "We're taking advantage while it's here -- it's not going to last forever."