USDA forecasts record-breaking corn crop in 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting a record-breaking corn crop this year in Indiana.

The USDA released its annual crop report Tuesday at the Indiana State Fair and experts said the numbers are good. Indiana’s corn production is expected to be up one percent from last year, coming in at 179 bushels per acre.

“The crop has sort of been firing on all cylinders as it were, and we’re certainly looking at the prospects of very good yields coming out of yields this fall,” Purdue corn specialist Bob Nielsen said.

If the yield comes in at the estimated amount, it will be the highest yield in Indiana history. Nielsen said despite the late planting, and wet, cool weather corn is still on track for a record-breaking yield.

“The crop has remained either on target or slightly ahead of schedule actually all summer long even though it’s been a cool summer,” Neilsen said.

Weather was also a concern for soybean farmers this year.

“We had cool, wet weather — limited opportunities to get the seed in the ground. And when we did, we had those opportunities for disease development and herbicide injury,” Purdue soybean specialist Shaun Casteel said.

The USDA’s soybean estimate wasn’t record-breaking, but Casteel said it’s still a good yield. The expected yield is the same as last year at 51 bushels per acre. Casteel said the next 30 to 45 days are a critical period for soybeans and a few things need to happen to keep the crop on track.

“Adequate moisture that we still want. We’d love to have a little more heat to do it more rapid,” Casteel said. “The third thing is to not have an early fall freeze.”

Purdue Ag Economist Chris Hurt said the high yields mean lower prices, impacting producers.

“So, we’re looking at prices of corn dropping about 12 percent, soybeans 20 percent,” Hurt said. “We’re now dropping to price levels that really not profitable for producers.”

For the consumer, the high yield means lower prices in the grocery store.

“Lower wheat prices, lower corn prices for Corn Flakes, lower oat prices for Cheerios — all of these things pretty quickly show up in lower food costs,” Hurt said.

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