JASPER COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Jasper County is one of the highest crop producing counties in the state, but catastrophic flooding has yield predictions down dramatically. Now, farmers are just trying to figure out how to break even.
“It makes you sick. There’s just nothing you can do about it,” said Jasper County farmer Charlie Parrish. “And at this point, anything we do to try to make the crop better is probably just a waste of our money.”
More than 25 inches of rain have left Jasper County farmers, like Parrish, unable to tend to their fields for most of the summer. It’s washing away any hope for a decent yield.
“I just know it’s going to be a loss, even with the insurance,” Parrish said. “I’m pretty certain I’m going to show a net loss.”
Parrish said about 40 percent of one field’s crop has been lost due to flooding. The surviving corn, however, should be about shoulder height at this time. But he says due to a lack of oxygen in over-saturated soil, its growth has been stunted.
“Nothing’s been normal since we finished planting this spring,” explained Parrish. “And it keeps telling itself it needs to mature, and physically it can’t.”
Parrish is not alone. Local insurance agent Brett Risner says only a small number of clients haven’t filed a crop insurance claim. Risner said with insurance only covering up to 85 percent of losses, some farmers may be without a profit.
“It’s going to turn some of these people upside down, and our whole economy around here is farm driven. It will affect everything,” Risner said.
As Parrish tries to assess his damages, he said he’s just waiting to see what his crops can yield and just hope for the best.
“There’s just nothing we can do,” he said. “There’s no place for the water to go. It’s in Mother Nature’s hands now.”
Risner suspects milk prices will increase in the area due to the low amount of feed produced from this year’s yield. He also said the low corn yield could also impact the local ethanol plant.