A rain-slowed harvest in the U.S. is increasing feed costs, as corn closes in on $4/bushel and soybeans at nearly $10/bushel, say reports. This further hurt producers who were already suffering from weak demand for meat during the economic downturn.
Corn, with a $1/bushel increase, is expected to impact chicken farmers. A J.P. Morgan analyst cut earnings estimates for Tyson Foods because of the higher grain prices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the corn harvest is 22% behind the five-year average for corn acreage harvested at this time. Cool, rainy weather is blamed for the lag on what was to be a record corn yield. More wet weather is predicted.
Most significantly impacted has been Illinois, which only has 6% of its crop harvested. Other impacted states include Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky, which all are 35% behind typical averages.