By DAN MCGOAN
Writer/Reporter, Inside Indiana Business
WEST LAFAYETTE — Statewide estimated losses from heavy spring rains that previously ran into the half-billion dollar range have been dialed back. Purdue Extension Economist Chris Hurt says soybean yields appear to be near-normal and the corn crop appears to be bigger than expected in parts of the state. Hurt says actual losses are expected to total around $200 million and be less wide-spread than previously feared.
He says U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates suggest soybean yields throughout Indiana to be a bushel-per-acre higher than under “normal” conditions, while overall in the state, corn crops appear to be 10 bushels shy of a typical yield.
“In many areas soybean yields were able to recover in August and September,” Hurt said. “However, several areas will still see yields five to 10 percent below normal. These include the northeast, northwest and east-central regions of the state. Flooding damage on corn was more permanent in the northern two-thirds of the state where USDA yield estimates by crop reporting district are down five to 20 percent from normal. The worst-hit areas are the northwest and west-central parts of the state. Southern Indiana has corn yields that are five to 10 percent greater than a normal weather year.”
He added that many individual farm families throughout the state have sustained major losses. “These farms may have elected crop insurance, which may help their financial situation somewhat, and low yield areas are more likely to receive higher government payments,” he said. “However, Indiana farm income will still be depressed for all areas and even weaker in low-yield areas.”