Increasing ethanol production may be having just the desired economic effect.
-- Farmers are getting the best price for corn in more than a decade amid strong demand for ethanol and feed, the Agriculture Department reported Monday.
Average corn prices for the year were forecast at $2.90 to $3.30 a bushel, up 10 cents from last month's estimate, according to the monthly crop report
The last time prices were as good was 1995, when the average was $3.25 a bushel. This year is the fifth time corn prices have risen above $3 a bushel. Last year's average was $2 a bushel.
The production forecast was unchanged at 10.7 billion bushels of corn, down from last year's 11.1 billion bushels. The nation's ethanol fuel plants are expected to use about 20 percent of the corn crop, and exports should consume roughly the same share.
This is potentially excellent news for upstate farmers. Higher corn prices are probably better for rural communities than high-speed Internet access -- if you catch my drift.