Statement from Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock on August 10 USDA crop report:
“Indiana farmers have been suffering through what everyone suspected was one of the worst droughts on record, and today’s USDA crop report confirms it. Indiana corn production is anticipated to be down 28 percent from a year ago, and soybeans down 22 percent. Yield numbers vary widely in different regions of the state, and while all farm families will be negatively impacted, some will be hurt more than others.
Indiana’s livestock, dairy and poultry farmers will also be negatively impacted as lower grain stocks mean higher feed costs for their animals. Across Indiana herds are already being thinned in reaction to increased production costs. Unlike other agricultural sectors, there is no insurance for livestock.
For grain farmers, there are a couple of risk mitigations in play – crop insurance for those who have purchased it and a built-in hedge of higher current prices that may offset some of the yield loss. But neither of these eliminates the significant financial burden Hoosier farm families will suffer, and some tough decisions will have to be made during and after this year’s harvest. Not all farmers will be back to try again in 2013.
Policy makers also have some tough decisions to make concerning how our nation’s reduced grain stocks are used, but now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions to the new crop numbers. Indiana Farm Bureau and its drought-stricken members strongly encourage Congress to do its job and pass a five-year farm bill that contains appropriate protections for all farmers, especially those whose livelihood is being threatened by the drought of 2012.
And we urge Congress to do it as soon as possible so farmers know the rules and conditions under which they will be growing our food, fuel and fiber next year.”
You can get the full August 2012 Crop Production Report online.