Last year at this time, nearby corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were trading at $5.67 a bushel — and going up. Today, it looks like they are headed in the opposite direction.

The global economic recession has had a negative impact on grain prices, which is good news for livestock producers.

One veteran grain-trader, Bill Gary, president of Commodity Information System, told Bloomberg.com that cash prices for corn could tumble below $2.50 this year.

“This recession is going to last a lot longer than the one in the 1970s,” hurting demand for raw materials, Gary said. “I don’t see any major bull move in commodities in the next several years.”

Demand for corn is falling. When the price of corn drops, it affects most every other commodity in a similar manner.

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The USDA expects growers to plant 1 percent fewer corn acres this year than they planted in 2008. U.S. growers intend to plant 85 million acres of corn this year, according to the USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report. If realized, it would be the third-largest acreage in the past 60 years, behind 2007 and 2008.

Click here to listen to an AgriTalk radio interview with Doane senior economist Rich Pottorff, discussing the March 31 Prospective Plantings report.

Meanwhile, soybean growers plan to plant 76 million acres. If realized, it would be the largest planted area on record, just ahead of the 75.5 million acres planted last year.

Source: Bloomberg.com; USDA-NASS