sealPurdue News

February 21, 1997

Indiana farmers produce more than state can use

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Indiana is 38th in size among states and has 2 percent of the U.S. population, but the state's farmers produce 8.5 percent of the nation's total soybeans and 7.2 percent of the total corn for grain.

Last year, according to the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service, the state's farmers ranked fourth nationally in soybean production, raising nearly 204 million bushels. Soybeans are used in everything from soy sauce to plastic to soy diesel fuel to soy crayons.

More than 670 million bushels of corn for grain were produced last year, giving Indiana producers the No. 5 ranking in that crop.

In 1995, crops accounted for 65 percent, or $3.2 billion, of the $5 billion in cash receipts earned by Indiana producers from farm marketings. Livestock marketed in 1995 brought in the remaining 35 percent, or $1.8 billion. Five commodity groups accounted for 81 percent of the 1995 cash receipts. They were, in order, corn, soybeans, hogs, dairy products and cattle. The state ranks 14th in farm income.

While Indiana farmers grow a lot of the nation's corn and soybeans, they also rank in the top 10 nationwide for production of several other commodities. In an average year, the state ranks No. 1 in popcorn production, raising a quarter of the U.S. total. Unfavorable weather the past two years reduced the number of acres planted, but yield per acre was up from 2,400 pounds in 1995 to 3,000 pounds in 1996. Price per pound also was up -- 2.4 cents above the '95 price -- increasing the crop's value from $16.3 million in 1995 to $23 million in 1996.

Inclement weather also reduced the 1996 mint crop, dropping Indiana from third to fifth in spearmint production, with 2,200 acres harvested. The state maintained fourth place in peppermint production, with 22,000 acres harvested. Hoosier mint producers raise 6.3 percent of the nation's peppermint and 2.9 percent of its spearmint. An average of 27 pounds of peppermint oil and 28 pounds of spearmint oil are produced from an acre. It takes about two drops to flavor a stick of gum.

Vegetable and fruit production also are important to the Indiana agricultural industry. The state ranks third raising tomatoes for processing, seventh in snap beans for processing, seventh in blueberries, and ninth in cucumbers for processing. Indiana melon growers rank sixth in watermelon production, growing 4.7 percent of the nation's total, and fifth in cantaloupe production, raising 2.7 percent of that crop. Tobacco is another top crop in Indiana; the state ranks ninth in its production.

The Hoosier state is home to the top duck producer in the United States, as well. Maple Leaf Farms in Milford turns out about 35 percent of the nation's ducks annually. The state's total chicken inventory ranks fifth, as does its layer inventory. Indiana provided 6.6 percent of chickens and 6.7 percent of layers nationwide in 1996. Turkey production ranked seventh in '96, with 4.6 percent of the U.S. total. Egg production is 7.4 percent of the U.S. total, placing Indiana in the No. 3 spot for that commodity. Indiana chickens provide 5.7 billion eggs per year -- 985 eggs per state resident or 22 eggs per U.S. resident.

Marketing more than 7 million hogs each year, Indiana ranks fifth in the United States in total hog inventory with 6.7 percent of the U.S. total. The pig crop also ranks fifth, with nearly 6.3 million produced.

The average producer who helps to raise Indiana's cornucopia of commodities is 51 and a half years old. More than 80 percent of Indiana's farm operators live on the farm they operate, and more than 51 percent do not consider farming their principal occupation.

Nearly 16 million of Indiana's 23.2 million acres are in farmland, ranking it 19th in farm acreage among states. It's 13th in number of farms, with 60,000. Eighty-five percent of the state's farming operations are individually owned, 11 percent are partnerships, and 4 percent are incorporated. The average size of the state's farms is 265 acres.

For more information on Indiana's ag statistics, check out the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service's World Wide Web page at

Source: Agricultural Statistics Service, (765) 494-8371
Writer: Andrea McCann, (765) 494-8406; e-mail,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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