Indiana farmers last year planted more acres in popcorn than ever before and produced a record crop despite abnormally wet conditions, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers planted 91,000 acres of corn used to make popcorn, up 10,000 acres from 2013, according to a National Agricultural Statistics Service report produced for Purdue University. They harvested 90,000 acres, also up 10,000 acres from the previous year.
Although the amount of Indiana acres harvested in popcorn was small compared with the 5.77 million acres in corn grown for grain, Indiana is regarded as the second-largest popcorn producer in the nation behind Nebraska.
The NASS said total Indiana production was a record 4.32 million hundredweight, or cwt, equal to 432 million pounds. That was up 16 percent from the 3.72 million cwt in 2013. The average yield of 48 cwt per acre, up 2 cwt from 2013, also was a record.
Greg Matli, Indiana state statistician for NASS, noted that while some farmers initially were concerned that planting delays caused by wet conditions would affect production and yield, the weather seemed to have had little effect in the long run. “Although some producers lost a percentage of their crop due to scattered, severe weather in the early spring, many fields handled the storms well,” he said. “Producers were able to harvest the majority of the crop, which led to the highest production in the state on record.”
The average price that farmers received for their crop, however, was down $2.80 per cwt from a year earlier, at $18.90 cwt, compared with $21.70 in 2013. The crop value was $81.65 million, up nearly 1 percent from the previous year. The NASS report is available free for download at Purdue Extension’s The Education Store at www.edustore.purdue.edu. The report can be obtained by entering the product code, D-463-W, in the search box.