High crop prices entice farms to expand planting

Farmer Clark Kelly holds a golf ball he dug out of a fairway on the Hend-Co-Hills Golf Course, in Biggsville, Ill. Kelly purchased the course, which was in foreclosure, with plans to plow it into farm land.

BIGGSVILLE, Ill. (AP) â?? Across the Midwest, farmers are planting crops on almost any scrap of available land to take advantage of consistently high corn and soybean prices.

Growers are knocking down old barns, tearing out fencerows and digging up land that had once been preserved for wildlife. Authorities are even investigating cases where farmers may have torn into pioneer cemeteries.

Clark Kelly is plowing the 18-hole Hend-Co-Hills Golf Course near tiny Biggsville into a cornfield. He moved quickly when he heard the course was up for sale. With nearby land selling for $15,000 an acre, the 133-acre course was quite a find for $775,000.

Prices soared above $8 a bushel last summer and have hovered around $7 recently. For farmers with production costs around $5 a bushel, there's still room for profit.

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