Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

January 19, 2013

Ag community feels effects of drought

FORT WAYNE — The impact from the crop-withering drought of 2012 was still being felt Wednesday at the Fort Wayne Farm Show.

Thousands of farmers spent the day browsing the new combines and field equipment and then crowded into a conference room to hear popular Purdue Agriculture Economist Chris Hurt tell them to not manage their farms for last year’s drought.

“It (the drought) is not a predictor,” Hurt said while looking out at a sea of seed corn caps. “There is no relationship from last year to this year.”

He told several stories of farmers he has talked to who are overreacting to last year’s drought and making bad crop planning decisions. Hurt told of one farmer who decided to switch to red wheat instead of corn. He outlined the yields and revenue from each crop. “That’s a $42,000 decision,” he said of the expected revenue loss.

But, as with every year, farmers should pay close attention to weather patterns, Hurt said. Right now 60 percent of the United States remains in drought. Much of that drought area has moved west of Indiana, yet a sliver of drought still stretches across the northern tier of Hoosier counties. After getting adequate rain in August and September to boost the soybean harvest, drought returned to northern Indiana in November and December, according to Hurt.

He said the U.S. Weather Service is forecasting that the northern Indiana drought will soon begin to ease and disappear by the end of March.

But many farmers aren’t taking a chance on the forecast being accurate.

“We have had a number of inquiries from folks rethinking their need for it,” said Rick Goshert about the crop insurance his insurance agency sells in seven states from its Warsaw office.

He said statistics show that 87 percent of farmers usually have some form of crop insurance. The remaining farmers self-insure or are willing to gamble on the weather, he said.

Crop insurance is part of the agriculture bills passed by Congress, Goshert said.

Last year’s drought meant losses for the insurance program covering corn crops were high. “As far as corn, it is going to be a gigantic loss, Goshert said.

But for some ag businesses, it means boosted revenue.

Dan Glenn works for multinational ag company T-L Irrigation Co. based in Hastings, Neb. As a district sales manager covering seven states he attends farm shows to man the company’s booth and pitch products, great customers and talk to dealers who stop by.

“New orders have just been increasing,” Glenn said. “I have never seen it like this before.”

He said T-L was doing good business before the drought because as corn prices rose to record highs, farmers who never considered irrigating marginal land re-did their math and found they could boost yields enough to pay for the equipment.

“On $3 (per bushel) corn, those people would have said, ‘Ah, just forget it,’” Glenn said.

The drought simply reduced the corn supply and kept corn prices high, extending the economics of irrigation even farther, Glenn indicated.

The boom in irrigation is also a benefit to other ag-related jobs. He said well drillers, pipe suppliers are all seeing an increase in business.

He said there were a lot of irrigation rigs sold in the fall after the harvest and the mild winter has allowed workers to get into the fields and begin installing them.

And who would think the drought was good for the timber business? It was, however.

Nick Brown, a buyer for Shipshewana Hardwoods, said the drought dried up ground in the floodplains.

“We were able to work in a lot of places we previously were not able to get timber out of,” Brown said.

He said crews are working now in the Tippecanoe River floodplain harvesting soft maple, ash and some swamp oaks.

The downside to the drought was that trees did not grow as much as is normal, Brown said.

Frank Martin of Wakarusa felt the impact of the drought as a dairy farmer and continues to deal with it as a feed dealer.

He and his sons Dwight and Dwayne milk 400 cows and farm 800 acres to supply grain to the dairy herd.

“We chopped our poor corn and shelled our irrigated acres,” Frank said. “That (irrigation) was huge. If we wouldn’t have had those irrigated acres it would have been a lot bigger detriment to us.”

He said the drought is continuing to impact his feed mill business and it’s hard to keep a steady supply of animal feed products, especially glutens and distillates that come from corn byproducts.

He said corn products are still short but soybean products seem to be adequate. And Elkhart County-area farmers who he deals with are telling him they expect to have enough feed and byproducts on hand until the next harvest.

And like all farmers, Frank believes the next harvest will be better.

“We are looking forward. We have the potential for a good year,” he said.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results