USDA Lowers Corn Yield Forecast; Soybeans Should Still Set Records

Oct 12, 2016

 

An Indiana soybean field in October.
Credit Valerie Everett / https://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/273444106

Indiana farmers aren't harvesting quite as much corn as expected this year — but they should still have record yields for soybeans.

As of this month, the USDA is expecting Indiana soybean yields of 59 bushels per acre. It's even better than their initial forecast, and it beats 2014's state record.

The USDA is reducing its corn forecast in Indiana, to 177 bushels an acre. It's still better than the national forecast. And it's far better than last year, when crops were damaged by floods.

Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says Indiana's corn and soybean crop will be worth $6.3 billion this year, with farmers earning $750 million more than in 2015.

Still, he says the corn crop won't set any records.

"This does reduce income prospects on corn," Hurt says. "It improves them a little bit on soybeans… But the beans don't offset the corn, so there's still a negative."

He says farmers' profit margins will be tight or even negative this year. They'll know for sure when the harvest ends in November.

As of now, Purdue agronomist Bob Nielsen says "harvest is progressing nicely," with corn 38 percent harvested and soybeans at 33 percent. That's a little behind average, but Nielsen says more farmers may transition to harvesting soybeans in the coming days.