More rain is bad news for Hoosier farmers

Local

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — More rain is bad news for Hoosier farmers.

Thousands of acres of corn and soybean crops are already water logged. This could end up sinking your wallet.

A Purdue University agriculture economist said crop losses statewide have reached $480 million. That amount could rise because the growing season isn’t over.

Ben Lawson, owner of Lawson Farms in Lebanon, Indiana said this year the crop turnout will be far from good in spots where 9 to 10 inches of rain fell in June. That is more than double the normal amount. A federal report released this year stated that 21 percent of corn and soybean crops throughout the state are considered in poor or very poor condition. Last year, that number was six percent.

“On a good year we harvest 190 bushels to the acre of corn,” said Lawson. “This year, we are predicting to harvest 140 bushels to the acre of corn. I would call this a disaster. Crop insurance will keep us afloat even though we will continue to farm.”

Failed crop areas of greater than 20 acres are eligible for federal crop insurance. Eighty percent of the state’s corn and soybean acreage damaged by flooding will also be eligible to file a claim.

The Farm Service Agency is in the process of assessing the damage. To qualify for disaster assistance there has to be at least a 30 percent loss in production.

Agricultural economist Michael Langemeier, who specializes in crop systems, said, “It’s too late to consider replanting corn. Yet soybean farmers could decide to start over with reduced insurance coverage. Coverage would drop 1 percent per day during a late pay period that would end July 15.”

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