TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A US Department of Agriculture report out this week says this year's corn crop yield could be a record setter.
Some experts predict farmers could harvest nearly a billion bushels! This comes after a year where corn almost became a household luxury.
What a difference a year makes for Indiana farmers.
"Indiana is the garden spot in the world… it really is," said Kaye Whitlock of Gavilon in Terre Haute.
After last year's devastating drought pushed yields to their lowest levels in a decade, Indiana farmers are going to rebound this year, big time.
When it comes to corn yields, the state of Iowa usually has the highest bushels to acres ratio.
But this year, that's going to fall to the state of Indiana. In fact, 70 percent of the state's corn crop is rated good to excellent, more than double last year's corn crop.
In a typical year, Indiana corn farmers on average get about 150 bushels per acre. Some farming experts say this year's figure could be 166 bushels per acre.
"We’re no doubt going to have a big corn crop,” said Wwhitlock who tells us projections from the US Department of Agriculture are actually lower than from those in the industry.
She says the government may have their reasons for to their cautious projections.
"The only thing the analysts think they've done is either they're counting on an early frost, or the corn in the western corn belt up north that was late planted not reaching maturity,” said Whitlock.
Farmers planted this year's crop late, so it's about one to two weeks behind schedule.
An early frost would devastate yields. However, if no frost happens, then the question is 'do farmers have the storage space for record yields?' Kaye says 'yes.' All of this ultimately means we'll finally see food prices drop.
"By this fall, beef prices should come down, and it's almost unaffordable. So hopefully that happens. It just takes a while for the trickle down effect to happen,” said Whitlock.
The USDA predicts the nation would see its third largest crop of soybeans this year. Growers should produce more than 260 million bushels, up significantly from 223 million last year.
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