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Early Spring May Lead to Record HarvestsBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · April 16, 2012

The warmest March on record in the United States has encouraged corn growers to plant earlier than normal, gambling against possible frosts in late spring.

If the unseasonably warm weather continues, the crop could miss the growth slump in the heat of late summer and bring higher prices in the fall. Growers are counting on high demand and low stocks to boost the profit for farmers who are able to bring corn to the market before the main harvest. Low supplies in the summer of 2011 pushed cash corn prices to record highs across the region and early-harvested corn was in great demand. Many purchasers were trying to fill orders from overseas, especially China.

The demand for corn from ethanol refineries, which now use 40 percent of the domestic crop, also remains high.