Corn and soybeans on the rebound, Purdue economist reports
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent August 21, 2013 4:56PM
Chris Hurt, an agricultural economist with Purdue University-West Lafayette, presents crop projections Wednesday during the annual Purdue Pinney Field Day in Wanatah. | Post-Tribune photo
Updated: September 23, 2013 2:24PM
WANATAH — Corn and soybean crops appear to be on the rebound after last year’s drought, but uncertainties remain.
That was the message from Chris Hurt, an agricultural economist with Purdue University-West Lafayette, as he gave a projection for this year’s crops Wednesday during the annual Pinney Purdue Field Day.
“What a great year we’ve had. We still have some uncertainties about how this crop is going to finish out for us,” he said.
In all, organizers expected 400 farmers and ag educators for morning and evening sessions for the field day, held on the Pinney property on the Porter/LaPorte county Line, coming from as many as 10 counties.
In addition to Hurt’s crop projection, participants rotated around four stations to learn more about topics including problem weeds; updates on corn disease; corn management and seeding rates; and products, pesticides and people.
Quoting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Aug. 12 crop report, Hurt said projections are for 154 bushels per acre nationally and 166 bushels in Indiana, down from projections of 160 bushels nationally and 175 bushels in Indiana, which would have been a record crop. The next crop report is due out on Sept. 12.
Planting rates and weekly crop reports are a factor in the shift.
“The market kind of reset on that,” he said. “It may be a decent crop, but not as good of a crop as projections were telling us.”
Keeping an eye on other ag states, Hurt said Iowa struggled with a wet spring, a slow start and stunted crops, and dry conditions in the western part of the state.
Iowa is usually the No. 1 state for corn production, but Indiana and Ohio are “the garden spots” this year, vying for that position. Indiana got a late start with planting, but is catching up.
A bumper crop would bring prices down, though frost damage on crops in states north of Interstate 80 — 45 million acres of corn are planted north of the highway — could temper price drops.