- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Record rainfall continues to take a toll on Indiana’s crops, with experts at the Purdue University Agriculture Extension estimating that farmers statewide have lost $486 million in corn and soybean production.

An average of 9 inches, more than twice the normal level of 4.2 inches, was measured last month at 200 recording stations across the state. As much as 18 inches of rain fell in parts of northern Indiana, according to associate state climatologist Ken Scheeringa.

Some farmers in central Indiana’s Johnson and Selby counties recorded 7 to 10 inches of rain, The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1CmJm4i ) reported.

“We got 10 inches in June, but it’s still too early to tell what the damage could be,” said the owner of the 700-acre Simpson Farms near Morristown. “If we go 10 days without any rain the loss might not be too bad.”

The rains were so spotty and sporadic in Shelby County that crops in the south were coming along as expected and some in the north were badly flooded, said Shelby County Extension agricultural educator Scott Gabbard.

“Flooding? Drowning might be the more accurate term,” he said. “We definitely had a loss this year. The only question is if it will be a devastating loss or a ‘ho hum, another bad year’ loss.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress report, 48 percent of the state’s corn is in good or excellent condition, while 21 percent is in poor or very poor shape, said Chris Hurt, agricultural economics professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette. Corn did well last year, with 75 percent of the state’s crops in good of excellent condition around the same time.

About 46 percent of the state’s soybeans are in excellent or good condition, compared to 71 percent last year.

“Some crops look very good but others are just a loss,” Hurt said.

Crop insurance covers about 80 percent of losses in Indiana. A county must show that losses from a single crop are over 30 percent in order to be eligible for state disaster declaration.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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