Getting More Corn Acres from the Corn Belt

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2015-07-21
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Babcock, Bruce
Emeritus Professor
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Hennessy, David
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Abstract

There is no doubt that the ethanol boom will mean a signifi cant increase in corn acres over the next two to ten years. Chad Hart argues elsewhere in this issue that much of the increase will likely come from Corn Belt states for the simple reason that the Corn Belt is where most suitable agricultural land is located. An additional 12 million acres—representing more than 5 billion gallons of ethanol—could be grown in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota if two acres of corn were planted for each acre of soybeans. But will farmers be willing to sacrifi ce the agronomic and economic benefi ts of a cornsoybean rotation?

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