(Bloomberg) -- Skyrocketing fertilizer prices could lead U.S. corn profits to drop by about a quarter next year, potentially motivating farmers to shift millions of acres into less cost-intensive soybeans. 

That’s according to Terry Roggensack, agriculture specialist and co-owner of the Hightower Report. He predicts corn returns on an operating-cost basis for producers in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, could plummet to roughly $430 an acre. That compares with about $600 this year. The yellow grain uses more fertilizer than other crops like soybeans and wheat. 

Farmers could find it more attractive to plant soybeans, with operating-cost returns for the oilseed pinned at $500 an acre, according to Roggensack. If lots of growers make the shift, it opens up the potential for huge global soy inventories as record harvests are already expected in the U.S. and Brazil. 

“The battle for acres is starting sooner than normal this year,” Roggensack said in an email.

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