With the U.S. Agriculture Department’s forecast that corn production this year will drop 13 percent to a six-year low as a result of the historic drought nationwide, the calls to divert more corn for food versus fuel are likely to grow more urgent, Ohio State University Extension economist Matt Roberts says.

In its monthly crops report, USDA last week cut its projected U.S. corn production to 10.8 billion bushels, down 17 percent from its forecast last month of nearly 13 billion bushels and 13 percent lower than last year. The projected corn production would be the lowest since 2006, meaning there will be intense competition for the reduced crops.

The USDA said it expects corn growers to average 123.4 bushels per acre, down 24 bushels from last year. In Ohio, those numbers translate into a projected 126 bushels per acre, which is down 32 bushels per acre from last year for corn.