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Indiana farmers struggle without key USDA crop reports

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jan 25, 2019

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Some Indiana farmers are concerned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is delaying the release of key crop reports during the partial federal government shutdown.

Brad Winger farms corn and soybeans in Howard and Miami counties. He tells The Kokomo Tribune that he's "driving blind" and unsure of what to do with some of last year's harvest without the data.

The USDA announced the delay Jan. 4. The reports detail the size of last year's harvests and give an early estimate for what farmers will plant in the upcoming season.

Chris Hurt is an agricultural economist at Purdue University. He says the reports would also be valuable to understand the impact of the ongoing trade war with China.

The shutdown stems from President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

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