Indiana Corn Production Lower than USDA Projection

The extent of the crop damage caused by last summer’s severe weather became clearer with a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report showing that Indiana’s corn production fell to its lowest level in three years.

The state’s soybeans fared better, recovering enough from the early-season flooding to produce a stronger crop.

According to the USDA’s Crop Production 2015 Summary released Tuesday (Jan. 12), Indiana corn farmers produced 867.4 million bushels of corn last year on a yield of 150 bushels per acre, compared with 2014’s record 1.08 billion bushels on 188 per acre.

It was the smallest corn crop in the state since farmers harvested 596.9 million bushels on 99 per acre during the 2012 drought year.

“The final USDA information apparently indicated either more Indiana corn acres were affected by last year’s severe weather or the magnitude of the yield reduction was higher than estimated,” said Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist.

In its previous crop report, issued Nov. 10, the USDA projected Indiana corn production to be 848.6 million bushels on 156 per acre. Over the past three years, the crop has averaged 904.5 million bushels on 155 per acre.

Analysts said the losses in the corn crop were due primarily to the state’s uneven weather.

Indiana had torrential rains last spring, causing severe flooding and killing or damaging many newly planted crops. The rains continued into June and July, which became the wettest two months on record. August and September were unusually dry, with droughtlike conditions in some areas stressing underdeveloped root systems.

Despite damage from the weather, Indiana’s corn crop turned out better than what some analysts had feared last spring.

Crop conditions varied significantly throughout the state. While corn losses were highest in the northern part of the state, where the worst of the flooding occurred, southern counties reported normal or even above-normal harvests.

Indiana’s 2015 soybean production was 275 million bushels on 50 bushels per acre, compared with last year’s record of 307.4 million bushels on 56 per acre. In November, the USDA projected a state soybean harvest of 284.5 million bushels on 51 per acre.

Over the past three years, the Indiana soybean crop has averaged 266.6 million bushels on 50 bushels per acre.

Source: Darrin Pack, Purdue University

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