This drought could be one of historic proportions for Indiana farmers, according to Purdue's agricultural experts who said that, without relief soon, this will match the drought of 1988.
According to federal crop statistics, Indiana is the hardest hit of all the big corn and soybean states.
Most crops here are showing severe stress already, and things are only getting worse.
Even if it had started raining July 1, which it didn't, Purdue experts said the corn crop would have been down 20 percent since last year.
If it indeed matches the monster drought of 1988, the losses will get much worse, up to more than 30 percent.
"We are in a realm that we haven't been in very often in the past 20 or 30 years, said Prof. Robert Nielsen, a corn specialist. It is serious. It could get way more serious if this heat and drought don't break pretty soon."
Soybeans are in trouble too, but not as much as the state's corn crop.
Ag experts said the drought is bad enough, but the heat piling on top of it makes it that much worse.
"Indiana is the worst drought-related state of the major corn and soybean states," said ag economist Chris Hurt.
Farmers are getting more worried, because corn is now in the crucial pollination stage.
If the corn doesn't get moisture soon, the ears will pollinate poorly.
Hancock County farmer Jeff Phares is already looking at ears that won't be worth much when it's time to harvest the corn and take it to market.
"The tassels are coming out, he said. The silks are out. It's trying to pollinate, and the heat is definitely damaging that process."
If it rains soon, some of the crop will be salvaged, but it will be too late for many ears, which are already showing fewer kernels than normal.
"Well, you would just have an ear, a cob, that would either have a few kernels on it, as down to possibly no kernels," said Phares. "That would be the end of the crop."
Purdue agronomists said the drought will not only hurt farmers, but also consumers.
They estimate the potential crop loss could raise food prices as much as three and a half percent.
Purdue experts said the effect on meat prices will be bad, too, but not initially.
They said some farmers will reduce or even liquidate their herds because of rising feed prices.
That will reduce meat prices this fall, because there will be a glut on the market.
But by next spring, meat will be scarce, and the price will jump.
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