What Will Farmers Do Next Spring?

Corn took up about two-thirds of Winklemann's 1,800 acres last year, with soybeans taking up much of the rest.

He made out well with both on his farm just northwest of Springfield. Corn fetched lofty prices driven at least in part by ethanol production reliant on it, while soybeans are commanding prices not seen in decades.

Come this spring, many farmers may be beckoned back to the beans, although Winklemann still isn't sure what he'll do.

U.S. farmers harvested a record 13.1 billion bushels of corn this fall on nearly 93 million acres planted.

Now, many observers see U.S. farmers moving 4 million to 6 million of those corn acres back into soybeans to take advantage of prices that have soared for that commodity, lately beyond $11 a bushel -- a price apparently not seen since the early 1970s.

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