Indiana farmers drowning in crop losses following drastic rainfall

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Data pix.

(July 8, 2015) -- You may not realize it, but we all eat a lot of corn. It's found in three out of four products at your grocery store.
Everything from your morning yogurt to your salad dressing and your favorite soda.

The soaked fields across Central Indiana are hitting local farmers financially and the cash crunch could eventually make it's way to you.

Fields that should be flourishing with tall, green crops are filled with bowed down dying corn and soy bean crops that were no match for the intense rain.

"I've farmed for 45-48 years and never experienced a rain event that has lasted this long and kept us out of the field this long," said farmer, Vaughn Bracken.

Experts at Purdue University Agriculture Extension say Indiana's soy bean and corn crops have gone from among the best to the worst. Crop losses are now up to more than $480 million statewide this year.

"So while that phrase knee high by the fourth of July for central Indiana it's usually a lot higher and now it's just barely knee high and it's yellowing, folded over, fields are ponding, its just really devastating for farmers," said agriculture and natural resources educator, Kathleen Sprouse.

21% of corn and soy bean crops are in poor condition--that's compared to only 6% this same time last year. Farmer's like Vaughn Bracken say this disaster has been mentally and financially draining. And now they're left with the fear of the unknown.

"It's very difficult to put a figure on it because we've never experienced this before. There could be as much as 70-80% loss and as low as 10% loss in some of the fields," said Bracken.

Bracken says consumers in Indiana shouldn't worry about the damage hitting their pockets right away since other states will reap a good harvest.

"Here in Indiana compared to nationwide the affect might be minimal to the consumer but to the farmer this year could be devastating," said Bracken.

Some farmers have insurance that could cover their losses up to 85%. County emergency boards are meeting across the state to assess the damage to determine if farmers will get assistance beyond crop insurance.

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