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      Mother Nature holds key to a record corn crop

      A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is estimating to have a record 14-billion bushels of corn nationwide this season. It's a number that was reduced from their previous report following the chilly spring temperatures.

      While many Northern Michigan farmers are optimistic that this years corn crop will be larger compared to the dry 2012 season, some don't think it will reach the estimated high.

      "Their 14-billion guess for corn yield this year, I think is going to be more like 13," said long time farmer, Frank Lipinski.

      Lipinski says that the chilly temperatures, frost, and heavy rainfall have been frustrating, and that many farmers had to delay planting their corn by as much as 3 weeks, due to flooding issues and the soggy ground.

      "What we've had from Mother Nature is an entire turn around from last years early heat, to cold and wet this spring which not only delayed the planting but the emergence and the growth," said Lipinski.

      But MSU Farm Extension educators say that the majority of Michigan corn crops have been planted, and that the state is in pretty good shape overall.

      "We anticipate a record crop in Michigan as long as we get rainfall," said MSU Extension Field Crop Educator, Jerry Lindquist.

      Lindquist says that if the temperatures rise, and Michigan can see some rainfall every 7-10 weeks, the positive impacts of a good crop will be seen at the grocery stores too.

      "These farms that are producing milk and meat, this falling corn price will be good news because that means that their expenses will be lowered," said Lindquist. "And that in turn could help on the price of food at the grocery store, but it's going to be 1 to 2 years before we really realize that."

      Lindquist says that if corn has a good turnout this season, the price of corn per bushel could be reduced by as much as $1.50 this fall.

      The previous record for corn was set in 2009 at 13.1 billion bushels.