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USDA predicts corn-crop rebound in Indiana, nation

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Indiana corn farmers will rebound from a dismal crop last year by producing nearly 1 billion bushels in 2013, according to a forecast released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In its first look at expected harvests this year, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts Indiana farmers will produce 979.40 million bushels of corn, a 64-percent increase from the 596.9 million bushels last year.

The forecast also projected a record national corn crop of 13.8 billion bushels. The previous record was 13.09 billion bushels in 2009.

Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said the larger crop will lower the prices of raw ingredients, meaning retail food-price increases could moderate to less than the rate of inflation

"The much bigger crop has producers and agronomists smiling, but the economists are not smiling. A larger crop means lower prices," Hurt said during a panel discussion by farm experts at the Indiana State Fair.

Purdue Extension agronomists Bob Nielsen said about two-thirds of the Indiana corn crop is rated good to excellent. He said corn development is about one or two weeks behind schedule.

USDA report forecasts Indiana soybean growers will produce 261.5 million bushels this year, up from 223.5 million bushels in 2012.

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