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A variable harvest turns out mostly positive for Indiana farmers

By Clayton Baumgarth, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Business, Statewide News, Weather
Farmers across Indiana are already prepping for planting season. (Courtesy of the USDA)

Despite challenges like increased input costs and a hot summer, harvests across Indiana ended up being profitable for many farmers.

The price of fertilizer and diesel weighed down what could have been another record year in agriculture. The state saw crop yields vary greatly between regions thanks to diverse weather patterns. Harvests ranged from the best crop some farmers have ever had to others having their worst year yet.

 “We had decent yields, and good prices, those two generally don’t go along together,” said Indiana Farm Bureau president Randy Kron. “But that’s kind of helped mend the fence and got us through the year.”

Read more: A new, divided Congress will have to take on a new Farm Bill with far-reaching effects

The war in the Ukraine was a major factor in the price of production and crops. Russia is a major producer of fertilizer in the world market and sanctions have caused a sharp decline in supply. The cost of diesel is also heavily affected by the war.

Purdue and University of Illinois are predicting the next harvest to ‘break-even’ for many, but Kron notes grain prices are expected to decrease. While that may mean 2023 could be difficult, Kron remains optimistic.

“I had somebody ask me the other day that ‘you’re always optimistic.’ I said, yeah, I think if you ask most farmers, next year will always be better,” Kron said. “And that’s part of why you have that attitude to be able to do that, because there’s too many outside factors.”

If diesel and fertilizer costs manage to drop, next year could be another record harvest like 2021.

Read more: Diesel fuel inventories continue to decrease, causing prices to surge