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US crop-production costs will jump sharply in 2009
Updated: 2008-07-24 11:22

WASHINGTON  -- Soaring energy prices will yield sharp increases for corn and soybean production costs next year, cutting into US farmers' profits and stretching already high food costs, according to a new University of Illinois study published on Wednesday.

Costs to get crops in the ground will jump by about a third in 2009, fueled by fertilizer prices expected to surge 82 percent for corn and 117 percent for soybeans, said Gary Schnitkey, an agricultural economist of the university.