TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. — Scott Travis maneuvered a 16-row planter with ease on one of the last days of his corn planting season.
"As we speak, it’s planting a hundredth of an acre every second, so in 10 seconds, we planted a tenth of an acre," he said, behind the wheel of the tractor.
What You Need To Know
- The Associated Press reports the price of corn is up more than 50% in 2021 and supplies are limited
- You could pay more for corn-related products this summer
- A bushel of corn is selling for $7 or more this week, up from about $4 last year, according to farmers
Travis leases the land in Spencer County, and if the weather cooperates, come fall, he’ll harvest the corn and sell it for the best price he can get.
In his three decades of farming, he's only seen corn prices this high once, he said.
"To take advantage of the higher price, I’m planting a little more corn than usual," he said. "Usually, I plant 600 to 800 acres, and we’re going to plant about a thousand this year."
If he had any corn to sell, it would go for about $7 a bushel this week, up from around $4 or $4.50 last year, according to Travis.
The Associated Press reports the price of corn is up more than 50 percent in 2021 and supplies are limited, in part, because China is buying massive amounts of corn.
From seed to fertilizer to equipment repairs, planting costs are more expensive each year, Travis said.
"If it costs me this much to grow it, well I have to make more, but the last several years, it’s just been a break-even type scenario, but this year, I’m optimistic that we’ll have a better profit."
Larry Thomas, a corn farmer in Hardin County, said he sold corn for $7.40 a bushel this week and estimated the price was around $4.65 this time last year.
"We've been able to capitalize on some of the higher prices this spring, so we're pretty happy with prices," he said.
His corn was going to a distillery.
In addition to animal feed and ethanol, corn is key to making bourbon.
Spectrum News 1 left a message with the Kentucky Distillers' Association to see if it expects any impacts from corn prices but has not yet received a response.