Purdue College of Agriculture and Extension and United States Department of Agriculture experts gathered at the Indiana State Fair on Thursday (Aug. 12) to discuss the results of the 2021 USDA crop report and the current status of Indiana’s major cash crops.
Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and senior associate dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, moderated the discussion among panelists. Panelists were Nathanial Warenski, state statistician of the USDA, NASS, Indiana field office; Dan Quinn, Purdue assistant professor of agronomy and new extension corn specialist; Shaun Casteel, Purdue associate professor of agronomy and extension soybean and small grains specialist; Beth Hall, Indiana State Climatologist; and Jim Mintert, Purdue professor of agricultural economics and director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.
Indiana corn production is forecasted to reach 1.02 billion bushels this year, which would be a 3.7 % increase from 2020 production. The expected yield is up 3.7% from 2020 at 194 bushels per acre. As of Aug. 1, corn condition was rated 76% good to excellent.
“Indiana corn looks good to great and we hope to keep this trend to finish strong. A few things that stood out to me include disease, specifically tar spot and corn rust, and past saturated conditions that could potentially impact the yield,” Quinn said.
Soybean yield is projected to reach 60 bushels per acre, compared to 58 bushels per acre in 2020. As of Aug. 1, soybean condition was rated 72% good to excellent.
“In terms of the soybeans, this season has been anything but normal. We’ve had wet and drought conditions, affecting the root systems and causing disease. The next 35 days are critical for yield development,” Casteel said.
The panel also discussed the crop market, trade and potential impacts from wildfires.
“We have started seeing some of the impacts of the wildfires, including traveling smoke, which is effective at blocking sunlight,” Hall said.
Mintert said, “Today’s report was a bit of surprise when looking at USDA estimates versus trade. This will be a very positive crop year in terms of income and does lead us to expect positive impacts on cash-rent.”
Henderson ended the discussion by observing: “The main takeaway from this report is that Indiana crop production is doing very well. Other areas of the nation weren’t so fortunate, which will potentially open up market opportunities for Indiana farmers.”
The USDA August Crop Report is available online.