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Good Crop Predictions Could Lower Grocery Prices

Agriculture economists are predicting a second straight record year for the state's corn production.

corn

Photo: DaveMBarb (Flickr)

Corn and soybeans are Indiana's two main cash crops.

Purdue agriculture experts say the crop report released Tuesday projects potential record highs for corn and soybeans, which could be good news for Hoosiers at the grocery store.

Indiana farmers are projected to harvest  a little more than 1 billion bushels of corn this year, which would set a record for the second consecutive year.

The predicted soybean harvest would be the third-largest in state history and up nearly 6 percent from last year.

Purdue agronomist Bob Nielsen says the cool summer hasn’t weakened or delayed the expected harvest, though he says a strong yield still isn’t guaranteed.

“[We'll] hopefully avoid cooler than normal weather to finish this crop out,” he says. “We need normal or maybe even more ideally slightly above normal temperatures to help this crop mature timely.”

Purdue agricultural economist Chris Hurt says the expected high yields are dramatically driving down prices. He says corn farmers could see a 12 percent drop in revenue from last year, and soybean producers decrease 20 percent decrease.

“Anything that is pretty directly related to the grains – lower wheat prices, lower corn prices for corn flakes, lower oat prices for Cheerios – all these things pretty quickly show up in lower food costs,” he says.

Hurt says if projections hold, the cost of cooking oils will likely go down this fall, while meat prices will take longer to see an impact, possibly dropping in the second half of 2015.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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