What will prices with a near-record corn harvest?

A forecast for a near-record U.S. corn harvest this fall at a time when the world economy is down has some wondering what will happen to the crop's price.

"Corn is in a very interesting situation," Darin Newsom, senior analyst for the Omaha-based market company DTN, said Friday.

He said the question is whether the demand-driven market that exploded in mid-2006 can continue to sustain itself if the crop fulfills such high expectations.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the corn crop to be 12.8 billion bushels, which would rank only behind the 2007 record crop of 13 billion bushels.

Kansas, the nation's fifth-leading corn producer, is predicted to harvest a record 514.8 million bushels.

But a Kansas farmer who is a longtime national industry leader said prices and supply have put corn in a position to benefit both the producers and buyers.

"It's pretty well balanced out," said Ken McCauley, a grower near White Cloud and past president of the National Corn Growers Association.

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