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Published July 02, 2012, 09:42 AM

Corn expansion

Corn has become the bread and butter profit center for many farmers in West Central Ag’s coverage area, along with sugar beets. Other crops are lower-profit, but needed for rotation.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

Corn has become the bread and butter profit center for many farmers in West Central Ag’s coverage area, along with sugar beets. Other crops are lower-profit, but needed for rotation.

Brad Fronning, an agronomist for West Central Ag Services of Ulen, Minn., says in the past four years a dramatic switch in acres has occured in the area.

“As time goes on, I think we’ll see that switch farther and farther north,” he says.

South of State Highway 200 (which runs east-and-west through Ada, Minn., and Mahnomen, Minn.), the rate of the increase may slow down. Big increases are still likely to the north. “We have customers that are growing corn just south of the Canadian border,” he says.

New genetics that make it easier to do corn-on-corn rotations will make a difference, says Brittany Ullrich, of Winfield Solutions LLC, which conducts field demonstrations and data collection.

“I have a grower that in 2008 raised 1,000 acres of corn for the first time,” he says. “That grower this year has just about 10,000 acres of corn. He used to grow 40 percent wheat, 60 percent soybeans. Now his rotation is 60 percent corn, 40 percent soybeans.”

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