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The temporary shutdowns will affect 25,000 workers, but there will be no layoffs, the world’s No. 1 automaker said. A March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged auto parts plants in northeastern Japan.

All 13 of its North American plants will have down time, though the duration may vary at a few plants, Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said. For most plants, the one-day shutdowns will begin April 15 and end April 25, the company said. Toyota said future production plans will be determined later.

The North American plants have been using parts in their inventory or relying on those that were shipped before the earthquake.

FARMING

U.S. corn reserves falling to 15-year low

ST. LOUIS | Rising demand for corn from ethanol producers is pushing U.S. reserves to the lowest point in 15 years, a trend that could lead to higher grain and food prices this year.

The Agriculture Department on Friday left its estimate for corn reserves unchanged from the previous month. The reserves are projected to fall to 675 million bushels in late August, when the harvest begins, or roughly 5 percent of all corn consumed in the U.S. That would be the lowest surplus level since 1996.

The limited supply is chiefly because of increasing demand from ethanol makers, which rose 1 percent to 5 billion bushels. That’s about 40 percent of the total crop.

From wire dispatches and staff reports