Pharos-Tribune

Local News

March 19, 2013

Corn crop: Back to normal?

If Mother Nature remains her finicky self, this year could be “lucky ’13” for corn farmers, a Purdue economist says.

Agricultural economist Christopher A. Hurt said a couple of weather scenarios could mean average or better-than-average prices for Indiana corn this year. If drought conditions across the U.S. improve, Hurt expects market prices for corn to level out this summer and start to go down as much as $2 a bushel. Otherwise, the scene may still be set for Indiana corn.

“The big uncertainty remains what the weather will be for the 2013 crop,” Hurt said. “There is a very large area of the western Corn Belt and Great Plains that still have very droughty soils.”

However, weather this year has developed more normally than it did last spring — with regular rainfall and chillier temperatures — keeping farmers from getting the early start to planting that they had last year.

“This is normal for Indiana,” Hurt said. “A year ago was not.”

And if weather stays normal, as is generally expected among local climatologists, “we’ll see a $2 or greater drop by the time we get to late summer and the fall.”

Another scenario — in which the eastern Corn Belt sees near-average crop yields, while the western half and the Great Plains stay stuck in drought — would give Indiana farmers “strong prices with normal yields,” Hurt said.

That has happened to the western Corn Belt, he said.

“They had reasonable yields with high prices. It could be that Indiana’s in that position this year.

“But Mother Nature will have the final say on that,” he added.

Southern Cass County farmer Kevin Wilson, who with his two brothers farms about 2,700 acres of corn, beans and tomatoes, said if yields do rise compared to last year, a drop in corn prices wouldn’t hurt his family’s farming.

“It depends on the bottom line,” Wilson said. “We can always take a little less price if we can get more bushels.”

Farmers in his area are banking on yields of about 130 to 150 bushels per acre, Wilson said — that’s near the 165-bushel-per-acre average Hurt said Indiana usually sees. If yields improve to 180 to 220 bushels per acre in the fertile cropland in the southern half of the county, Wilson said, “at the end of the day [a price drop] may not be all that bad.”

Prices for the 2012 crop are averaging $7.10 per bushel now, Hurt said. In 2010, the average per-bushel price tag came in at $5.38 in Indiana according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture annual crop values summary.

Since demand for corn has tapered off somewhat because of the current high prices, Wilson figures that any falling prices should bring demand back up.

“The weather will be key. There’s no question about it,” Wilson said. “But I think most of the farmers are pretty well optimistic. We’ve had some opportunities to lock in some relatively decent prices and if we get a pretty good yield, we’ll be in decent shape.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: Aug. 20, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 20, 2014

  • Logansport City Council prepares 2015 budget Logansport City Council members started meeting with department heads earlier this week to discuss proposed expenses as they shape the budget for next year.Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin prefaced the discussion Monday night by saying the budget as it

    August 20, 2014

  • Staples to close by Sept. 20 Logansport's Staples office supply store is closing Sept. 20, a company spokesperson said. It's the latest in a slew of closings the company announced in March it would pursue, stating its goal was to shutter about 225 stores, more than 10 percent of

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT082014 Earthquake4.jpg Shake, rattle and roll: Students learn earthquake safety with simulator WALTON — Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School students experienced what three levels of earthquakes feel like during the school day Tuesday.The Quake Cottage, a mobile earthquake simulator, is run in partnership with the Indiana Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Grissom Fire Department 04 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Military fire power: Grissom FD critical to regional safety GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE — There are six people trapped inside a burning airplane. You and your partner have 10 minutes to rescue them.And you have to do it blind, groping and crawling in total darkness, burdened down with fire gear and an oxygen tan

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT082014 McTaggart awards.jpg Writers win McTaggart honors The Trustees of the Logansport-Cass County Public Library recently announced the winners of the fifth annual McTaggart Writing Competition.In the student poetry division, Lari Rutschmann took first place with her poem “Hands” and second place with an

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Data breach affects Dukes Memorial Hospital PERU — Dukes Memorial Hospital was one of nine Indiana hospitals affected by Monday's data breach at Community Health Systems. Community Health Systems — which is not affiliated with Community Health Network, the Indianapolis-based healthcare provide

    August 19, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 19, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 19, 2014

  • State sues EPA over carbon dioxide regulations The state of Indiana and 11 other states are suing the U.S. Environment Protection Agency over its recent carbon dioxide regulations, contending the agency is “overstepping its authority.” The lawsuit, filed this month in U.S. Court of Appeals in the

    August 19, 2014

  • Council passes annexation exceptions Exceptions to local rules are now in place for residents of land Logansport is annexing should the city win the lawsuit filed by opponents set to get underway again next month.Logansport City Council narrowly approved 4-3 the annexation of two territ

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition