Boom Time on Heartland Farms
US farmers strike it rich satisfying ethanol, export demands
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 2:55 AM CST
Corn stalks are seen near New Berlin, Ill., in this Tuesday, June 19, 2007 file photo. U.S. farmers planted 19 percent more corn this season than a year ago to capture record high market prices, fueled...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US economy may be teetering on a precipice but agriculture is enjoying what one industry analyst is calling a "golden age" after decades of decline, with bountiful harvests of crops and profits. The boom is fueled by the soaring demand from ethanol producers and to fill grain orders from China and India, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In one central Nebraska farming community, evidence of new wealth is everywhere as people build new outsize homes, buy luxury cars, and install hot tubs and 65-inch TVs. "Right now, if all you're raising are corn and soybeans, you're on easy street," said a county commissioner.