February 01, 2023

Kron expecting average yields

INFB delegate session returns to in-person format

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Kron family is preparing for harvest in southern Indiana.

Randy Kron, farmer and president of Indiana Farm Bureau, shared an update with AgriNews.

Q: Are you anticipating good yields?

A: This is probably one of the toughest years to try and anticipate yield because of variability. There’s always a little of that, but this year it’s a lot more. It’s a lot tougher to put numbers to it.

Our best guess is average yields. Considering all we’ve been through, average is pretty good. If you compare it to the last couple of years, it’s not as good. But it’s alright.

Q: How would you describe farmer morale?

A: I would describe farmers’ morale as cautiously optimistic. Some areas will have very good yields. That helps. Prices are good. I think, overall, farmers are pretty optimistic. I think they’re more worried about next year with inputs costs and what prices may do.

The Illinois farmdoc website put out their estimates for inputs and crop outlook for an average crop. It was basically a breakeven. What I’m hearing from farmers, they’re already looking ahead and trying to figure out what to do.

We still have supply chain issues. A lot of unknowns. I think farmers are already thinking about what they need to minimize risks next year.

Q: Why is infrastructure important in agriculture?

A: We have to be concerned about the movement of grain around the country, to get it where it needs to be. We’re lucky in Indiana, with three ports. Those are very beneficial to agriculture. We also have 14 ethanol plants.

Forty percent of our corn crop goes through an ethanol plant. That helps. But 60% still needs to be transported somewhere. A lot of it will go to the Southeast to poultry producers and different places. Infrastructure is critical for agriculture’s success.

Parts of the country are dealing with a potential rail strike. Going into harvest, there couldn’t be a worse time. That could make a bottleneck that’s a real problem in areas that rely on train transportation to ship.

Q: How did the INFB delegate session go?

A: The delegate session was our first time back in person after two years of virtual sessions on Zoom. Everyone enjoyed talking and socializing. People liked being back together.

We discussed a variety of issues from property rights to solar to carbon sequestration. It was very successful.

The Farm Bureau method of doing this grassroots through our county leadership to decide our policy stances is unique. It’s not an easy process. It’s more cumbersome. But it’s the best way. We know we’re getting input and making decisions reflecting what our members want.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor