Corn, soybean losses predicted to cost Indiana farmers $500 million

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 12, 2015)– Corn may be king in Indiana, but its crown is damp and a little tarnished after a soggy spring and summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 53 Indiana counties agriculture disaster areas, making farmers eligible for low interest loans, because of the rains that came and put many farms under water during the crucial spring planting season.

“Once the crop was in the ground, in many cases, there was upwards of six weeks of completely saturated soil non-stop,” said Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension Agronomist. “So prices will remain depressed, and for those folks in Indiana that are harvesting dramatically lower yields its because they just happen to be in that wet area, now we’re talking low yields and low prices and that spells a lot of trouble at the farm level.”

Purdue agriculture experts predict Indiana corn farmers will lose $300 million due to the wet weather.

The value of the state’s soybean crop is expected to be off $200 million.

“Relative to last year, we’re probably down ten or twelve percent from last year because it was such a good yield last year,” said Nielsen. “Indiana’s about the only state that’s been suffering this year because of these problems so nationally yields will be the second highest on record.”

Nielsen said supplies will remain plentiful and retail prices consistent, though Hoosier farmers won’t share fully in the bounty because of the lack of a full crop.

According to Purdue surveys, 25 percent of the state’s soybean and corn crops are rated “poor” or “very poor.”

Farmers with crop insurance may still recover 80 percent of their loss but spending on farm implements, investment and land treatment may be cut back.

“It’ll create some cash flow problems certainly for a lot of folks,” said Nielsen. “It means some people won’t buying some new machinery that they were ready to buy because their machinery was wearing out.”

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