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The often monsoon-like rainy conditions that have plagued Northwest Indiana farmers this spring have pushed back the reporting deadline for those who were unable to get corn, soybeans or other crops in the ground on time.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency extended the "prevented planting" deadline to July 15 for farmers without crop insurance to report acreage they could not plant this year because of "spring flooding and extensive moisture."

“Producers need to report prevented plant acres to retain eligibility for FSA program benefits,” State Executive Director Steven Brown said. “In many areas of the state, excessive moisture has made it challenging for producers to get into their fields to plant and this deadline extension provides reporting flexibility.”

The USDA estimates about 7 million acres of corn and 18 million acres of soybeans have gone unplanted this year. 

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Jasper County farmer Mark Kingma said many farmers in Northwest Indiana, particularly those by the Kankakee River, will be forced to take prevented plant payouts for the first time in their lives, which would result in a loss for the year but furnish them with enough capital to plant again next spring.

Any farmers without crop insurance or who would be covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program should contact their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible.

For more information, visit farmers.gov/service-locator, or rma.usda.gov/information-tools/agent-locator-page for information on crop insurance.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.