Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

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
Business
  • Supreme Industries reports improved quarter GOSHEN — Supreme Industries Inc. reported Thursday its second quarter sales and income were up. The company, which makes specialized commercial vehicles, reported its consolidated net sales from continuing operations grew to $71.6 million in the seco

    July 24, 2014

  • Earns General Motors [Duplicate] Recalls cost GM $1.5 billion DETROIT — Recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, cutting its net income by 85 percent. The automaker, which is in the midst of the worst recall crisis in its history, posted a net profit of $190 mil

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon Kindle Service [Duplicate] Amazon unlimited e-book service is limited NEW YORK — Amazon’s new “unlimited” e-book service lets you read 600,000 books. That sounds like more than you’ll ever read, but I found myself struggling to find the books I wanted. It turns out that the library of 600,000 is bit like a small bookst

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140720 blue barn berry farm image 01 New berry farm also offers classes, treats SYRACUSE — A retirement hobby has grown into a new agriculture-based business for a local family.Don and Peggy Bucher and Shanda and Chris Sheeren are members of a farm family who operate Bucher Farms along N. 300 East. According to Shanda, her mothe

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN140720 mike gingerich column image Online marketing methods to grow sales Growing sales through selling online is a powerful way to reach more people and extend your market.To sell online means getting in front of the right people in the right places. You want much more of a laser focus than a scattershot approach. It also

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local job numbers up, but so is jobless rate A growing number of people looking for work in Elkhart County has boosted the unemployment rate despite an increase in the number of jobs.According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Elkhart County’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent in J

    July 19, 2014

  • Microsoft-Goodbye Android-3 [Duplicate] Axed Nokia X phones suffered from lack of identity NEW YORK — The Nokia X phones that Microsoft discontinued this week blend two rival operating systems, but leave out the best of each.As a result, the devices didn’t become a runaway hit as Nokia’s low-cost answer to serving emerging markets.Nokia X

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Obama opens Eastern Seaboard to oil search ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. — Opening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil exploration for the first time in decades, the Obama administration on Friday approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound wave

    July 18, 2014

  • Planners limit use of Hawks building GOSHEN — The types of businesses that could potentially be located in the recently refurbished Hawks building in downtown Goshen could be limited if a ruling by the Goshen Plan Commission Tuesday holds up. During Tuesday’s meeting, commission members

    July 15, 2014

  • BIZ GN140714 commodore image Commodore adds space, jobs GOSHEN — The Commodore Corp., which operates Commodore Homes of Indiana, a producer of modular and manufactured housing, has completed and is now operating a 17,400-square-foot plant expansion and renovation.Commodore has also broken ground on the ne

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

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
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results