Indiana farmers get ready to plant amid lower grain prices


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Wabash Valley farmers are beginning to prepare fields for planting despite facing a downturn as grain prices fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The start of the planting season looks much better than last year’s wet spring. But Vigo County farmer Frank Strain said corn prices per bushel have tumbled from earlier months.

New crop corn prices at Terre Haute Grain last week were $3.25 per bushel and soybeans were at $8.41 per bushel, the Tribune-Star reported.

“From an economic outlook, it doesn’t look good,” said Brad Burbrink, an owner of Be-N-Ag Family Farm.

But he acknowledged that soil conditions are good for planting, even if demand for corn and soybeans have hurt bushel prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020 prospective plantings survey indicates farmers nationwide intend to plant 97 million acres of corn, 83.5 million acres of soybeans and 44.7 million acres of wheat.

The coronavirus relief law passed by Congress at the end of March set aside $23.5 billion for agriculture, including $9.5 billion specifically for specialty crop and local producers. But Wabash Valley farmers are still unsure how those federal funds will be dispersed.