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Number of damaged crops skyrockets in Indiana

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 26 percent of Indiana’s corn crops are now in either poor or very poor condition. Since the end of May, that number has risen from just 2 percent due to record rainfall.

The sound of splashing water is not what Brownsburg farmer Zach Frazee wants to hear when he’s walking through his cornfields. But after weeks of rainfall on his farm, that’s his reality.

“It’s sad, man,” Frazee said. “It’s a lot of work in the beginning, and then you go out and look and it’s all for nothing.”

Frazee said more than half his crops are destroyed and the damage will cost him thousands.

Agriculture experts with Purdue University said at the end of June that this year’s corn and soybean damage could reduce production in the state by $475 million dollars.

“It is devastating. It’s a tremendous loss,” Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock said.

Villwock said some prices at the grocery store could rise two to four percent.

“Any of the hundreds of items on a store shelf that come from corn and soybeans will be affected in some small way this year,” Villwock said.

The good news for most farmers is that insurance covers storm damage.

The bad news for Frazee is that he doesn’t have insurance.

“It’s all out of my pocket,” Frazee said.

He said there’s not much he can do to make up for the losses. He’s just hoping for a dry August and a strong 2016.

“You could take a boat in the field. It’s kind of depressing,” he said.

Frazee said he knows plenty of local farmers facing similar problems. State agriculture officials said northern Indiana farms were the hardest hit.