News | Agriculture

Crop yield estimates to highlight annual state fair report

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A slow start to spring planting led to a mad dash by farmers to finish in June, followed by cool and wet weather that hampered crop development. Those wild fluctuations in the 2009 crop season will provide the backdrop for fall crop yield projections that will be presented Aug. 12 at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

The annual crop report takes place at 9:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion and is open to the public. Speakers include Chris Hurt, Purdue University agricultural economist; Greg Preston, Indiana director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service; and Anne Hazlett, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Jay Akridge, Purdue’s Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, will moderate the panel discussion.

Crop report panelists will analyze that morning’s U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production numbers and what that data means for Indiana.

“The August crop report is one of the most anticipated in years,” Hurt said. “It will provide an evaluation of the actual acres that finally got planted this spring and what the cool summer means to yield potential.

“Just one year ago, the world was fearfully short of basic foodstuffs. This year, much better world harvest and improved prospects for U.S. production appear to have reduced the fear of supply shortages. Large crops will help reduce food price inflation, which has been a concern over the past year.”

Preston said spring planting started late across much of Indiana.

“On June 1, the amount of corn planted was 17 days behind the average five-year pace,” he said. “For soybeans, on June 1 we were 14 days behind for the five-year average.”

Lower-than-average temperatures after planting extended corn and soybean crop development, Preston said.

“By the end of July, crop development was still behind last year’s pace and about half as far along as where we would be for the five-year average,” he said.

The crop report starts 30 minutes before the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion officially opens. Those attending the meeting should enter at the main entrance on the building’s south side.

Those with Internet access also can follow the report on Twitter, the social networking Web site. Regular “tweets” will be posted throughout the meeting on the Purdue Extension Twitter feed. To receive the Twitter posts, visit and request to “follow” the feed. Users must already have set up a free Twitter account.

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