Indiana Expecting Plentiful Harvest

Indiana farmers are expecting a bountiful spring harvest thanks to an unusually warm winter and an anticipated early spring.

The past several months have been marked by unusually warm winter weather. Across the country, average highs are up several degrees and the amount of snowfall is down from previous years. In some regions, this strange weather has had a negative impact on farmers. Some plants and crops are blooming too early, and might not be pollinated, leading to crop failures. In other locations, the warm, dry winter is threatening water supplies, and could exacerbate ongoing droughts.

In Indiana, however, the recent weather patterns appear to be beneficial to farmers. The warm winter means that soil temperature is higher than normal, meaning that farmers will be able to plant their spring crops earlier than usual. Over the past several years, Indiana farmers have pushed up their spring planting schedules from May to April, and many farmers are chomping at the bit for soil to reach the necessary 55 degrees to allow seed germination.

The earlier harvests could generate about $8.6 billion in revenue, an increase from last year’s $8.3 billion in agricultural revenue.

The picture is not entirely rosy. Rising land prices, fertilizer prices, and fuel costs may eat away at farmers’ profits. Overall costs are expected to increase 15 to 20 percent. These increases, while not negating an otherwise good year, will limit profits in a time when many farmers are hoping to increase cash flow as much as possible in order to prepare for anticipated federal farm subsidy reductions.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer