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
  • Jayco's growth means more jobs MIDDLEBURY — Business is booming for the local RV manufacturer Jayco Inc. So much so that Jayco representatives this week announced that the company’s Motorhome Group plans on expanding manufacturing facilities at its Middlebury-based headquarters wi

    August 22, 2014

  • GN140820 dometic groundbreaking Dometic breaks ground on significant expansion in Goshen GOSHEN — As Dometic officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million expansion of their Goshen distribution center Wednesday, the work was already underway in the background. “It’s happening right now,” said Dave Schutz, vice presi

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Wheeled Commuter Car [Duplicate] Three-wheeled car closer to going on sale ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon. Elio Motors wants to revolutionize U.S. roads with its tiny car, which is the same length as a Honda Fit but half the weight. With a starting

    August 15, 2014 6 Photos

  • White Collar Sentencing [Duplicate] Lighter sentences sought for some business crimes WASHINGTON — The federal panel that sets sentencing policy eased penalties this year for potentially tens of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders. Now, defense lawyers and prisoner advocates are pushing for similar treatment for a different categor

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon Mobile Payments [Duplicate] Amazon joins mobile payment market NEW YORK — Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140809 gm recall image GM recalls three vehicles for fire hazard General Motors' troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire. The problem, revealed in documents posted by federal sa

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0808 Supershow 02 Annual RV show opens in Elkhart ELKHART— Carole and Ray Bronicki have owned four recreational vehicles during the past 25 years. Thursday they were looking for their fifth.“We sold the one we had in Texas, Ray said as he stood outside a fifth-wheel at the Midwest RV Super Show. “An

    August 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Thor has good year ELKHART — Thor Industries Inc. has had a good year.The recreational vehicle manufacturer announced Monday its fiscal year ended in July with sales from continuing operations up 9 percent at $3.53 billion. Sales in the prior year were $3.24 billion.To

    August 6, 2014

  • Wealth Gap US Economy [Duplicate] S&P says wealth gap slows economic growth WASHINGTON — Economists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the U.S. rebound from the Great Recession. Now, an analysis by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s lends its weight to the argument: The widening gap between the wealth

    August 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • Briefly BRISTOLHiring event set for Wednesday in BristolWorkOne and auto-parts manufacturer Chassix are hosting a hiring event Wednesday.Employees are needed for more than 100 machine operator jobs and related positions.The hiring event will take place from

    August 3, 2014

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
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results