This June’s Purdue Farm Management Tour marks the 87th annual date for the event, and again this year the tour in Huntington and Wabash counties will offer something that most producers can use in some form in their own operation. The tour is presented by the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture and Purdue Extension, and Jim Mintert with the Center says a very interesting farm, Bowman Farms, will start the second day.
“They’ve been farming in Wabash County for five generations dating back to the 1800’s,” he said. “They have a commercial grain elevator which they launched back in about 1980, and that’s really created some opportunities for them in terms of expanding their storage and their marketing opportunities, but in addition to that, one of the things that they concluded very early on was to really improve the productivity and the profitability of the land they farmed, they needed to focus their attention on drainage. Drainage was a limiting factor in terms of yield and profitability in their part of the state.”
The Bowman’s determined investing in state-of-the-art drainage equipment to install their own drainage tile would be a smart move and they are also implementing precision ag technology to install the tile. That will be part of the tour on June 28th.
The Farm Management Tour runs two days, June 27 and 28, and Mintert says it offers lots on the management side of farming, lots on the new technology side, and plenty of ideas for those who attend.
“The objective is, when people finish up the tour and may be heading home, think about the things they’ve seen and heard at that farm tour and think about one or two things that they might be able to implement on their farming operation to make them more productive and more profitable,” he told HAT. “In some cases it might be something they might be able to apply very straightforwardly to their farming operation, simply an idea in action that they hadn’t seen before. In some cases it might be ok, we can take that idea and modify it a little bit to fit our situation.”
There are also opportunities to learn how other farmers are managing personnel and a growing operation. Each tour includes an interview session where farm operators provide an overview of the farm, followed by three mini-tour sessions focusing on specific aspects of the farm’s operation. During the mini-sessions, host farmers share successful farm management tips and explain how the management of their operations is changing in response to the agricultural economy and evolving family circumstances. They also share reasons behind recent innovations in production practices and adoption of new technology.
The Tour is free but you need to pre-register for the Friday free lunch count. Also Thursday night the Master Farmer Banquet will be held at Huntington University.
12:30 p.m., June 27 – Huntington County: Anson Farms near Andrews was started by John Anson’s grandfather Mark, who was named an Indiana Master Farmer in 1968. John and his wife Jodi now operate the farm, having completed a management transition from John’s father, Aaron. In addition to raising commercial corn and soybeans and selling corn and soybean seed, the Ansons have a boar stud operation they operate under contract and have also begun marketing corn directly to a local dairy farm.
3 p.m., June 27 — Dennis Grain and Farms: Located in northeast Huntington county, the farm grows corn, soybeans, wheat, and double-crop sunflowers. Dennis Grain & Farms is a family operation with brothers Mark, Jack and Bob Dennis, along with their son’s and several employees. In addition to their crop farming operation, the Dennis family also operates a commercial grain elevator. Dennis Farms relies on grain marketing and agronomic consultants to help them effectively manage their growing operation, which in 2019 is transitioning from 30-inch to 20-inch row corn production.
8 a.m., June 28 – Wabash County: Bowman Agri Corp. and Bowman Farms includes a corn-soybean farming operation and a commercial grain elevator operated by brothers Dan and Kevin Bowman along with Kevin’s two sons, Kyle and Evan. The Bowmans explain that one of the keys to success on their soil types was to focus on improving drainage, leading them to invest in state-of-the-art drainage equipment to install their own drainage tile. The farm also relies on various precision ag technologies to improve their farm’s productivity and profitability.
11:30 a.m., June 28 — McKillip Farms near Wabash: The tour will start with lunch, followed by McKillips farm family interview and mini-tours. Todd and Troy McKillips are the fourth generation of the McKillips family to farm near Wabash and have recently completed a transition of the business from the third generation to ensure the business’ ongoing success. Their grandfather was an early adopter of hybrid corn and entered the hybrid seed corn business with a 3-acre plot in 1935. Although focused on corn and soybean seed production and marketing, the McKillips believe in diversification and recently entered tomato production.
Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Banquet
The Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Banquet will be held June 27 at 6 p.m. in conjunction with the Farm Management Tour. The banquet will be at Huntington University, Habecker Dining Commons, 2303 College Avenue, Huntington, Indiana. The cost to attend the banquet is $25 per person for adults, $10 per person for children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and younger. Participants must register separately for the Master Farmer Banquet by filling out the form at https://purdue.ag/masterfarmer or calling 765-494-4191 by June 13.
Source: Purdue News Service