Indiana farmers could yield record harvest

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The cool summer temperatures and scattered showers may not be ideal for being outdoors, but local farmers are rejoicing. Ernie Biltz’s booth at the Farmers Market in downtown Terre Haute is overflowing with ripe tomatoes, delicious apples, and fresh ears of corn.

“My sweet corn has been excellent,” said Biltz, owner of Biltz Produce. He’s harvested more than 1,000 dozen ears of sweet corn per acre. “We haven’t had the drought like we’ve had the past couple of years. We’ve had plenty of rain and the weather has been nice.”

The colder than average summer weather is making for a record-breaking year. Together Indiana farmers are on track to harvest 1.04 billion bushels of corn.

“We’ve had timely rains and it’s not horribly hot, so everything seems to be going well,” said Sherry Staley, owner of Pumpkin Works. Staley said she’s been producing the best set of summer crops Hoosier farms have seen in years. “Well this is just much better compared to those years.” Moreover, Biltz thought the crop this year is better than it has been in multiple years, “probably in the last two or three years this is the best year we’ve had.”

However, it’s not all good news for farmers, as supply increases future prices could drop to their lowest levels since 2010. “It seems like at the markets a lot of people are cutting their prices down to get rid of the stuff,” Biltz said. “I had to lower mine some.” Regardless of low prices, Biltz said farmers have plenty of fresh vegetables to go around are selling it all.

As farmers wrap-up a successful summer they are already preparing for the fall. “The pumpkins are planted, and the gourds are planted and growing,” said Staley. “They’re planted and I’m just letting them grow,” said Biltz. Both are hoping fall will be as fruitful as summer.

The Farmers Market on Barr Street in downtown Fort Wayne is open 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For times and locations for other markets in the Fort Wayne area, click here

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