USDA projections of flood-damaged corn, soybean crops to be analyzed

August 7, 2015  

Hurt report

Although the corn in this Fountain County field looks like it is on a hill, it is not. Much of it is short because its development was hindered by ponding from frequent rain in June and July. The dark green corn plants in the background are developing better than the light-colored plants, which are deficient in nitrogen that was washed away. Weeds also are growing where there was prolonged ponding. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Keith Robinson)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A panel assembled by Purdue Extension during the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday (Aug. 12) will analyze the government's August Crop Production Report, which will offer the first projections of how much corn and soybeans farmers might harvest in Indiana and nationally.

The panel discussion will be held 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Farm Bureau Building's banquet hall on the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The forum is open to the public.

Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, will moderate the discussion consisting of panelists:

* Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

* Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension agricultural economist.

* Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist.

* Shaun Casteel, Purdue Extension soybean specialist.

* Greg Matli, Indiana state statistician of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The Crop Production Report, to be released that day, will be of particular interest in Indiana, where crops have sustained much damage from frequent rain in June and July. As a result of almost continually flooded fields for six weeks in many areas of the state, Indiana has the largest percentage of a corn crop rated poor or very poor - 25 percent - among the major corn-producing states, according to USDA.

Twenty-five percent of Indiana's soybean crop is in that same condition.

Hurt estimated the value of Indiana's lost corn crop at $300 million and the lost soybean crop at $200 million.

But all is not bad for the state's row-crop farmers and consumers. "There will be some positive offsets to the economic crop losses," Hurt said, explaining that:

* Indiana crop conditions have improved since the third week of July, and final outcomes can change in the remaining two months of the growing season. Soybean yields have more opportunity for improvement than corn. 

* Crop insurance payments to farmers likely will be substantial. It is common for about 80 percent of planted corn and soybean acreage to be insured.

 * Because yields are expected to be high in some other states, especially the northwest Corn Belt, market prices for Indiana corn appear to be similar to what they were in early June before the wet weather, and current expectations are that soybean prices will be about 2 percent higher.

* Current crop ratings from the USDA would indicate that corn and soybean yields will be above average nationally. That bodes well for consumer food prices.

"Food prices would not be noticeably increased by the weather damage up to this point," Hurt said.            

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, 

Source: Chris Hurt, 765-494-4273,

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

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