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Record Corn and Soybean Harvests Possible Again in 2014

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

Indiana farmers are projected to harvest a little more than one 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 six 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.

“Hopefully [we can] avoid cooler than normal weather to finish this crop out,” Nielsen said. “We need normal or maybe even, more ideally, slightly above normal temperatures to help this crop mature.”

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 a 20 percent decrease. 

Hurt says that will lead to a drop in food prices at the grocery store, with bakery goods and cereals among the first items to see a 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,” Hurt said.

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 is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. 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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