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​​​​​​​​​​​USDA August Crop Production report forecasts bumper grain crops
By Darrin Pack

August 12, 2016

After sluggish harvests last year, Indiana farmers could produce record or near-record grain crops this year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Friday (Aug. 12).

The report forecasts Indiana corn production at 1.05 billion bushels, up from 822 million bushels last year. That would be the second highest production on record. Hoosier farmers brought in 1.08 billion bushels of corn in 2014 on 188 bushels per acre.

Yield is projected to be 187 bushels per acre, compared to 150 bushels per acre last year.

Soybean production in the state is expected to be a record 312 million bushels, up from 275 million bushels last year. Yield is forecast to be 55 bushels per acre, compared with 50 bushels per acre last year.

Jay Akridge , Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, said the report signaled a bounce back for the state's crop producers after a difficult season in 2015.

"In the end it's another testament to Indiana farmers and their management abilities," said Akridge, who moderated a Purdue Extension panel discussion Friday (Aug. 12) at the Indiana State Fair. Panelists evaluated the USDA's August Crop Production report, which provides the first official government estimates of the corn and soybean harvests.

Other panelists were Greg Matli, state statistician for the USDA's National Agricultural Statistical Service; Bob Nielsen, Extension corn specialist; Shaun Casteel, Extension soybean specialist; and agricultural economist Chris Hurt.

The USDA forecast calls for healthy grain crops throughout the country.

Nationwide corn production for 2016 is projected to be a record 15.2 billion bushels, up 11 percent from 2015, on 175.1 bushels per acre, up 6.7 bushels per acre over a year ago. Soybean production is forecast at a record 4.06 billion bushels nationally, up 3 percent from last year, on a record 48.9 bushels per acre.

Last year, U.S. corn production totaled 13.6 billion bushels on an average yield of 168.4 bushels per acre. Farmers produced a record 3.93 billion bushels of soybeans on 48 bushels per acre, also a record.

This year's crop projections stood in contrast to last year's crops - especially corn - that were damaged from heavy rains that flooded fields for weeks on end from the spring into July. Compounding the problem were unusually dry conditions in August and September with droughtlike conditions that stressed underdeveloped corn root systems in some areas.

Indiana soybeans fared better, totaling 275 million bushels on 50 bushels an acre.

More moderate weather conditions this year have enabled grain crops to thrive in many parts of the state, analysts said.

As of last week, 73 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 74 percent of the soybean crop were rated good or excellent, according to NASS. Nine percent of corn and 7 percent of soybeans were in poor or very poor condition, with the remaining in fair condition.


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