Corn Prices, Agriculture Stocks and Your Wallet

Corn futures are trading near all-time highs and look to climb even higher as the U.S. crop faces tight supplies and surging demand.

Today's government crop report reduced its 2011-2012 harvest outlook to 13.2 billion bushels. That's down 2.3 percent since its May forecast.

Excessive midwest rains devastated areas of the corn belt, allowing farmers to plant just 90.7 million acres, a drop from the forecast of 92.2 million last month.

While corn acreage is the second largest since World War II, the government is predicting the second tightest supply since the 1930s.

So what does this mean for your wallet?

As the summer season kicks off, smaller supply and increasing demand will essentially affect what you pay for activities such as picnics and BBQs.

As corn prices head to the roof, the food chain is also impacted. Farmers paying higher costs for cornused to feed live cattle and pork will pass along those costs to consumers.

Also, almost 40 percent of corn goes to ethanol production, so the supply for grocery shoppers gets even tighter.

Here is a look at some of the agricultural stocks that may also be affected by rising food costs:

  • DuPont
  • Monsanto
  • Smithfield
  • Tyson

Did you know...

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at a record $66.7 billion in 2010. And the U.S. is the world’s biggest producer and exporter.

5 Biggest Corn Producing States

Source: USDA

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