Corn supply, and its effect on food prices

A corn field is inundated with floodwater May 13, 2011 near Carter, Miss.

Bob Moon: Well this morning the Department of Agriculture told us all the natural disasters that have been going on will impact food prices.

And as our sustainability reporter Adriene Hill tells us, things will get worse.


Adriene Hill: The rising Missouri River is threatening hundreds of thousands of acres of corn and soybeans in the Midwest. Land that...

John Anderson: Is among the most productive farmland in the country.

John Anderson is a senior economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. He says it's too early to know the damage the water will cause. But analysts are watching this flood closely because:

Anderson: Corn stocks are at a historically tight level.

I ask analyst Darin Newsom from Telvent DTN why the rest of us should care about corn supply. He says it's quite simple: corn is in nearly everything food-related.

Darin Newsom: In some way, shape or form, most everything agricultural, or that food that we eat, or items that we buy, can be traced sooner or later back to corn.

Our soda has corn syrup, our beef eats corn, and on and on. So, it goes like this: the bigger the flood, the tighter the corn supply. The tighter the corn supply, the higher the cost of corn. And the higher the cost of corn, the more we pay for our groceries.

I'm Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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