- Associated Press - Saturday, April 29, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana farmers are expected to plant more soybeans this year as prices have gone up, Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen says.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farmers in Indiana to plant 6 million acres of soybeans, a 6 percent increase from 2016. Indiana is expected to remain steady in corn acreage with 5.6 million acres, though the USDA expects a 4 percent decrease nationwide.

Nielsen said corn prices are still lackluster, with plenty in storage, and that’s driven soybean prices up.

He said planting is “off to a good start” this year, WFYI-TV reported.

“There’s certainly nothing on the immediate horizon that would indicate that there’s any major problems lurking in the weeks ahead,” Nielsen said.

John Richwine, who farms in northern Madison County, said that he’s “right on schedule.”

“With the right kind of weather we should have the corn planted in early May,” he told The Herald Bulletin.

Nielsen expects most Indiana farmers to have their crops planted by the end of May if the weather permits.

He said last year’s planting season was delayed and extended by rain, though the eventual harvest was not impacted.

“It makes it even more important than ever to try to grow a crop that’s uniform and vigorous to begin with,” Nielsen said. “And then that may tolerate some of these extreme weather events a little bit better and not lose as much yield.”

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