Farmers are expected to plant less corn this year, according to the Department of Agriculture, and that could mean higher bills at the grocery store.
Corn prices have skyrocketed in recent years, helped by the burgeoning ethanol industry, which turns the crop into fuel, and rising worldwide demand for food. The higher prices have hurt poultry, beef and pork companies, who use corn to feed their animals.
Farmers are expected to plant 86 million acres of corn this year, the government predicted Monday, down 8 percent from 2007, when the amount of corn planted was the highest since World War II. The decreased supply could drive corn prices even higher -- a cost for food producers that could be passed on to consumers.