Ethanol boom sinking corn in the land of cotton

Ethanol boom sinking corn in the land of cotton
By: Associated Press
BLOOMINGTON, Il. -- An expected corn planting rush to feed growing ethanol demand will spread from the Corn Belt to the land of cotton.
About 90.5-million acres of corn are expected to be planted nationwide this year, the most since 95.5-million acres were planted in 1944.
The five top corn-producing states (Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana) account for 5.1-million of the projected 12.2-million new acres of corn.
But the sharpest increases are expected where cotton has been king for generations.
Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi are expected to boost corn acreage by 133% to 195%. Combined, the three states are expected to add 1.2-million acres of corn while trimming cotton production by more than a million acres.
Billy Joe Ragland says high corn prices offer a chance to make a little money for a change on his long-time cotton farm in central Mississippi.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)