Indiana’s Cash Crops May be Out of Low Earning Period

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By:  Annie Ropeik, Indiana Public Broadcasting

November 23, 2016

STATEWIDE – Indiana’s record soybean harvest and near-record corn harvest are all but complete. The cash crop market may be on its way out of a low-earning period.

Bumper crops couldn’t save Indiana producers’ profit margins this year. With commodity prices at 10-year lows and farming costs remaining high, the state’s half-billion dollars in agricultural earnings will still fall short of better years.

Those large yields are part of what’s pulled prices down. They’re also lowering farm *land* values – set to complete a 20 percent drop from 2014 highs by the end of next year. But Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says that’s not as bad as it sounds — it’s a moderation, not a crash.

And as for *commodity* prices, he says farmers will cut back corn and wheat acreage next year to offset the cheapening effects of oversupply, planting more soybeans instead. It’ll boost profit margins only a little in the short term.

He says *food prices* will also be low at the grocery store. In fact, they’ve stayed lower for longer in the past year than in more than half a century.


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