August Crop Report Brings Expected, Not Encouraging News to Indiana Corn Farmers
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 17, 2015) — With record June statewide rainfall, the USDA August Crop Production Report puts Indiana corn production under a billion bushels and average yields under the national average for the first time in years.
The report, which was released on August 12, estimates average corn yields in Indiana at 158 bushels per acre, 10 bushels below the U.S. average of 168.8 bushels/acre and 30 bushels below Indiana’s 2014 record average of 188 bushels/acre. This would put Indiana’s 2015 corn production at 867.42 million bushels on 5.49 million harvested acres.
“While it was not unexpected, it was disheartening to listen to USDA economists talk about the condition of the corn crop across the country and realize that Indiana is one of a handful of states with a large number of acres really suffering this year,” said Mark Bacon, Indiana Corn Marketing Council director from Rush County. “This report does not bring us a lot of hope that we’ll see improved prices for our corn now through harvest, which makes a short crop even more painful for farmers across our state.”
Bacon and Gerald Gauck, ICMC director from Ripley County, attended the USDA crop report announcement in Washington, D.C. to hear the forecast firsthand and talk to USDA economists about how the report affects U.S. farmers.
U.S. corn production is estimated at 13.7 billion bushels on 81.1 million acres, according to the USDA report. This is down 4 percent from last year’s record production.
“It was a surprise that USDA did not lower the number of planted or harvested acres from their June forecast for Indiana or the U.S.,” said Gauck. “I think we all expected to see those acres decline after the extremely wet weather much of northern Indiana experienced this year.”
While the August report is the first report utilizing survey-based data, there are still several weeks before harvest and other factors that can affect final production numbers. Experts say that crop development is on pace with average years but the variability within fields will be an issue come harvest.
“This report really is a ‘from the fencepost’ view of our crops. The real story will be told when we get out into the fields at harvest,” said Ed Ebert, ICMC’s director of grain marketing. “We still have a long way to go until harvest and it is never over until the corn is out of the field and on its way to market.”
Despite the lower production numbers in Indiana, the 2015 U.S. corn crop looks to have the second highest corn yield in history.
“It is important for consumers to realize that even with Indiana corn farmers facing lower yields and production this year, we’ll have plenty of corn to supply all of our markets so this does not mean we’ll see an increase in food prices,” said Bacon.
The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interest of corn growers in the state and manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting producer directors and seven appointed industry, and government representatives.
This communication was funded with corn checkoff dollars.