Food Alert: Over Half of Indiana Has Crop Damage

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Via Indiana Economic Digest

Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Joe Donnelly are seeking a disaster declaration to help farmers whose crops have been damaged from the summer’s high rain levels.

In 50 counties, reported crop damage and losses have met or exceeded 30 percent of a crop, and three counties have experienced a significant number of damages and losses to multiple crops, according to a news release. Under a disaster designation, low-interest emergency loans will be made available to all producers suffering losses in that county, as well as in counties contiguous to a disaster-designated county.

The National Weather Service reports rains set a statewide June rainfall record with a state average of 8.99 inches. The previous record was 8.13 inches set in June 1958.

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Inflation Alert: Chipotle Restaurant

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Chipotle Mexcican Grill recently made headlines by going “GMO Free” on certain ingredients. I believe this announcement was more of a marketing ploy against the news in their recent financial statements. I’m not a big investor of restaurants in this day and age of the Federal Reserve printing money at a high rate and American beef in demand world wide. (Some investment advice, put your money not in the restaurant but with the beef farmer) Chipotle is hiking prices again on its customers. Within a one year time period prices on certain items will have increased 11-13%.

This write up came from TheStreet.com a week before their GMO announcement –

Chipotle stands to receive another jolt to the top line from another round of price increases. The company, which has historically been reluctant to lift prices, confirmed it will hike prices on steak and barbacoa in the third quarter by 4% to 6% in order to compensate for persistent beef inflation.

In the second quarter last year, Chipotle implemented an across-the-board menu price increase of about 7%, as it dealt with beef, dairy and avocado inflation. Same-restaurant sales growth accelerated soon after the menu price increases went into effect — after rising by 13.1% in the first quarter of last year, same-restaurant sales increased averaged 17.7% in the remaining three quarters.

Percent of Fuel Cost in Your Grocery Store Bill

With fuel prices dropping over the last several months, many shoppers are asking why food prices have not shown corresponding drops in prices. The asnwer may surprise you in how much fuel costs affect grocery store bills.

Annemarie Kuhns with the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service is reporting that only 4.7 cents of every dollar spent at the supermarket goes toward food transportation costs

So less than 5% of your bill is attributed to fuel costs.

Farmers Buying Most of the Farmland for Sale in 2014

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Stumbled upon some interesting data about buyers of farmland while researching farmland value. This comes from AgriNews:

One thing they have noticed, Aupperle said, is that more farmers are purchasing the land. During the first nine months of the year, 71 percent of the land was purchased by farmers or their families.

“Farming community has really stepped up, while outside investors seem to be waiting to see if a correction comes,” Aupperle said. “The farming community has a lot of money from remaining steady for two years and when investors come back, an upward trend should continue.

2014 Corn & Soybean Yields Explode

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Harvest season is wrapping up across the nation. Here is some Indiana and national stats gathered up from various sources around the internet:

Corn for grain production will set a new record in 2014 at 14.5 billion bushels on fewer acres planted compared to 2013. World corn production is also setting new records.

Soybean farmers are now expected to harvest 3.96 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October estimate. Fifteen states including Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota are expected to report records for the amount of soybeans grown per acre with the average yield at 47.5 bushels per acre. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 83.4 million acres, unchanged from last month.

(Indiana) Corn yield was unchanged from last month’s projection of 186 bushels per acre. This will be a record corn yield for Indiana if realized. Corn for grain harvested acres was 5.75 million acres. Total production is still expected to weigh in at a record-breaking 1.07 billion bushels. Soybean yield at 54.0 bushels per acre was unchanged from last month’s forecast. This yield if realized will be a record for soybean yield in Indiana. The soybean harvest is anticipated to rake in 296 million bushels, which would make 2014 a record production year.

H/T Hoosieragtoday.com for recent numbers