Rain gives farmers reason for cautious optimism

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While we are still enjoying our summer, farmers are already looking ahead to the harvest. The steady rain is having an effect on crops. So what does that mean to prices and quality at the grocery store?

The saying goes, "knee-high by the Fourth of July" when Midwesterners speak of a decent corn crop.  Field this year are a much different picture from last year.

This time last year, we were dealing with 100-degree heat and three straight weeks of drought. It was a tough year for crops, and that meant higher prices and lower quality at the grocery store.

This year it's a different picture. Right now, too much rain is creating delays, especially for the wheat crop that should have been harvested by now.

Overall, though, things are better in the fields. Here in Indiana, the fall harvest may start a little later, but it shouldn't impact what you pay at the store. In fact, yields and quality should be better.

"Normally we would have been harvesting this ten days ago, two weeks ago," said farmer Rob Richards. "And normally we would be following this with double crop soybeans. So the window growth period is shortened and there is some risk of early frost to degrade the yield for soybeans."

Our corn crops here are typically used for ethanol, feed grain or processed foods. And a lot hinges on how much more rain we still have in the forecast. Bbut generally speaking, the outlook is better than at this same time last year.