Agricultural panel to project crop yields at Indiana State Fair

August 2, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana corn and soybean crops have thrived in a spring and summer that's been hot, humid and wetter-than-usual. What that could mean for fall harvest will be discussed during an annual report Aug. 12 at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

State agriculture experts will project 2010 Hoosier crop production at 9:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion. Speakers include Chris Hurt, Purdue University agricultural economist; Greg Preston, Indiana director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service; and Joe Kelsay, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, will moderate the discussion.

The presentation is free with fair admission and open to the public. Pioneer Our Land Pavilion is located near the fourth turn of the horse track, on the west end of the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The panel will analyze that morning's U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production report and provide insight into what Indiana farmers might expect in yields and market prices.

"We'll take the yield numbers the USDA comes up with and then think about the price implications, because price and yield together give us revenue," Hurt said. "We can compare that with our estimated cost of production for this year and come up with an estimate of profitability.

"We're looking at fairly good yields on the crop side, and reasonable prices. The livestock sector is much improved so, overall, I think we've got a positive story to tell in terms of the farm income situation for Indiana. Also, we'll look at income prospects this year, as well as land values and the debt situation, to look at the overall financial condition of the Indiana agricultural sector."

Weather conditions have been conducive to rapid crop growth, although excess rain in many parts of Indiana played havoc with farmers' intended fieldwork, Preston said.

"The persistent severe storms and heavy rains, along with high temperatures, in June spurred crop development but remained a headache for hay producers," Preston said.

"The very warm June weather pushed the growing degree days to very high levels across the state. Crop development was so quick that many early-season insect pests were not a significant problem. But, unfortunately, weeds grew as fast as the field crops and the wet fields made it difficult for farmers to spray weeds and apply fertilizer."

Drier conditions in July caused some plant stress, although 91 percent of the state's corn crop had silked and 79 percent of the state's soybeans were blooming by mid-month, Preston said.

Those unable to attend the state fair crop report can follow the event on Twitter, the social networking website. Regular "tweets" will be posted throughout the presentation on the Purdue Extension Twitter feed. To receive the Twitter posts, visit  and request to "follow" the feed. Users must already have set up a free Twitter account.

Writer:  Steve Leer, 765-494-8415,

Sources:  Chris Hurt, 765-494-4273,

                  Greg Preston, 765-494-8371,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page


Related websites:
Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics

Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service