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Cost of crops on the rise

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:39 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The cost of crops is on the rise, and we’re seeing some of the highest prices in nearly a decade.

According to the Dow Jones Market Data, corn, soybeans, and wheat have reached their highest prices since 2013.

This is great news for local farmers.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, part of the increase in prices, especially corn, comes from an increased demand in China.

They estimate corn imports at a record 28 million metric tons compared to October when that was just seven million metric tons.

Experts also attribute this to restaurants reopening across the world.

Here in Indiana, farmers have planted 97% of their corn.

Farmer Joe Steinkamp says crop demand comes from a list of things: the world opening back up, restaurants feeding more people and kids eating at school this fall. Crops, however, depend on the weather.

“Rain makes grain all year round, so we’ve got really nice looking crops in southern Indiana right now, but that doesn’t mean we’ll harvest a big crop come harvest time,” Steinkamp said.

Steinkamp says every third row of his soybeans goes to China, keeping those prices high, too.

He says you don’t need to worry about high prices trickling down to your grocery store.

“If prices are higher, it helps out the farmers, but at the same time, that normally doesn’t trickle down to cost to consumers because the majority of your cereal at the grocery store, your meat at the grocery store, majority of that is in processing and transportation,” Steinkamp explained.

Purdue University’s agricultural research educator Hans Schmitz says farmers have to adjust to feeding more people.

“These trends back to in-person gatherings and schools reopening,” Schmitz said. “You see the shifts again in what supplies are needed and what packaging is needed.”

Steinkamp says the crop harvest is still totally subject to change depending on the weather in July and August.

According to the latest USDA Indiana Crop Weather report, 94 percent of the corn across Indiana is between fair and excellent condition with very few amounts in poor condition, making way for a great harvest season.

Also, please make sure you are extra careful on those rural roadways as farmers are out with heavy machinery during this planting season.

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