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Irrigation Saves the Year in Northwest Indiana

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The combine was shutdown Friday in northwest Indiana capping a good year for Mark Kingma, considering the elements. Irrigation on over 70 percent of the ground he farms was a savior this year, even getting some yields to the point of near normal.

“A lot of years we see 40 to 50 bushels to the acre difference on irrigated to non-irrigated corn. This year was more like a 140 or 50,” he told HAT. “On the farms that needed the irrigation the worst it was virtually zero outside of the irrigator, and under it was just about a normal crop. So we feel blessed that we had the irrigation.”

Irrigation just isn’t feasible on those other acres, but Kingma hopes to get there someday.

“We are starting to price some of the newer irrigation systems. They have some that will irrigate L-shaped fields and make it work, but I sure wouldn’t mind figuring out a way to get another 20 percent irrigated. That would make me content.”

Kernel quality for this year’s corn crop was good and Kingma also reports about normal soybean yields where there was ample moisture.

“And I’ve heard of some neighbors who just had record bean yields where they were able to hold water up or really got extra rain,” he said. “But about half of our bean acres were about an average crop. The other half were probably down 30-40 percent and are actually in the 35-42 or 43 bushel range. But with the price difference wherever we penciled it out, we ended up similar dollars per acre to where we were last year. Our costs were up a little bit more again this year from a year ago.”

This week Purdue reported the presence of Palmer amaranth weed infestations in 5 northern Indiana counties, including Kingma’s. He has not spotted that weed. Nor was aflatoxin present this year in his fields. Hear more in the HAT Field Update at the Agronomy page of this website, sponsored by Advanced Ag Solutions.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/10/Kingma-harvest-wrapped-up.mp3|titles=Kingma harvest wrapped up]