Indiana to Host Drought Conference

Indiana farm officials are planning a drought recovery conference for the end of the year, hoping to offer Midwestern farmers advice on how best to recover from the devastating drought that occurred this summer.

For most of the summer, farmers across the country struggled with the worst drought conditions the nation has seen in more than fifty years. Farmers from California to Ohio saw their crops wither and their fields dry up in the face of the highest recorded temperatures in American history. While the drought was a national phenomenon, its epicenter was the Midwest, where corn farmers suffered serious crop losses.

Nationwide, corn production fell by about 13 percent, dropping to 10.7 billion bushels (the lowest crop since 2006). Soybeans as well suffered a major hit, with production falling by about 14 percent to 2.6 billion bushels. In Indiana, corn production was hit harder, with a drop of about 28 percent (to about 600 million bushels) and with soybean production falling by 22 percent.

According to Purdue economist Chris Hurt, “As we think about marketing, there certainly are some differences between corn and soybeans,” he said. “For corn, current bids into the storage season are relatively flat going across the fall and into the spring, without substantial increases or decreases. What that tells us is that storing corn still makes some sense if one believes corn prices can still rally and that there is limited concern about a major drop in prices.”

The announced conference will focus on these marketing strategies and will help farmers limp through the current rough period.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer