Six Percent of Corn, Five Percent of Soybeans Harvested in Indiana

Harvest across Indiana is off to a slow start this fall. So far, six percent of corn for grain and five percent of soybeans have been harvested as of Sunday, Sept. 25 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS).

Indiana corn is 92% dented and 47% mature. The USDA says 79% of corn for silage has been harvested while harvested corn for grain is far behind the five-year average pace of 12%. Indiana corn is rated 54% good-to-excellent.

Indiana soybeans are rated 55% good-to-excellent. 64% of beans are dropping leaves. Soybeans are also behind the five-year average for harvesting at 11%.

Indiana’s harvest is also behind the rest of the U.S., where 12% of corn and 8% percent of soybeans have been harvested on average according to the USDA.

In his weekly report, Nathaniel Warenski, State Statistician with the USDA NASS, adds that winter wheat planting continued behind its five-year average as well with about only four percent of the crop planted so far. Cuttings for alfalfa and other hay were taken when regrowth was considered adequate. Tomato harvesting is also underway across Indiana.

CountryMark Introduces New Premium Dieselex-4 with ProFlow to Improve Power and Performance

Belinda Puetz, Director of Marketing with CountryMark, which has introduced their new Premium Dieselex-4 formula with ProFlow. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

More efficient and smoothly running diesel trucks and farm equipment are a good thing – especially with the cold winter months fast approaching.  That’s why CountryMark has introduced a new formula of their premium diesel fuel.

“It’s good for the environment. It’s good for business. It’s good for Indiana,” says Belinda Puetz, Director of Marketing with CountryMark, talking about their new Premium Dieselex-4 formula, which now includes ProFlow. It’s a unique combination of fuel detergents that help keep diesel engines cleaner.

“One of the challenges with a diesel engine is it is prone to diesel injection deposits,” according to Puetz. “We have stumbled across a detergency that we’re just thrilled with. It not only prevents deposits from adhering to the injection system, but it’s going to be able to tear them up, break them out and spit them back out.”

She says the new formula will also help your diesel-powered vehicles when the temperatures this winter get well below freezing.

“It is going to allow our fuel to move more easily through the fuel filters,” says Puetz. “That improves the likelihood that the fuel is going to perform when it gets cold. When a diesel fuel gets cold, those wax crystals form and the fuel filters can allow some of those wax molecules to go through the filter, but anytime you’re adding dirt, debris, deposits and wax, now you’re just putting more pressure on that filter. By being able to use this new formula, we’re going to be able to reduce the amount of debris that’s going through the filter, which means now we’re just down to wax molecules.”

Puetz says no one else in CountryMark’s service area provides this new ProFlow formula.

“We worked with our suppliers and said we’ve really found something that we really loved,” says Puetz. “They were good enough to allow us to make it proprietary to our companies, so all our member companies are the only ones that have access to the new detergency formula.”

Puetz recommends reaching out to your CountryMark dealer to ask about the new Premium Dieselex-4 with ProFlow.

Click HERE to read MORE about CountryMark’s new Premium Dieselex-4 with ProFlow.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report on CountryMark’s new Premium Dieselex-4 with ProFlow.

How the EPA’s ‘WOTUS’ Rule Could Lead to Expensive Fines or Jail for Farmland Owners

Imagine being fined $37,000 dollars a day or being threatened with jail time over sinkholes or standing bodies of water on your farmland! It could happen as part of the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule, or WOTUS for short. Those fines could be imposed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That’s why one southern Indiana farmer has traveled to Washington D.C. with Indiana Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee to address the issue with lawmakers.

“I feel like the Waters of the U.S. are getting pretty well muddied up at this point,” said Theresa Gottbrath, who farms near Pekin in Washington County. She’s referring to WOTUS – which involves regulations of “navigable bodies of water” to protect drinking water supplies. Those regulations have included ditches, drainages and low spots on farmlands and pastures.

The enforcement of those regulations, as well as a specific and universal definition of “navigable bodies of water”, have varied recently from one Presidential administration to the next. The lack of clear rules on clean water has caused some confusion and frustration for farmers.

“We have sinkholes on our farm, and those are things that we cannot control,” said Gottbrath. “We have a creek that runs through half of our farm, and all of those things that are happening on our farm, whether it’s a barn that’s been built that might have run-off or sinkholes, might lead to some sort of a citation that we might get served.”

Theresa Gottbrath, who farms near Pekin in Washington County, addressed her concerns over the EPA’s “WOTUS” rule with Indiana legislators in Washington D.C. as part of the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

That’s why Theresa and others with the Women’s Leadership Committee with Indiana Farm Bureau are sharing their stories with Indiana’s lawmakers so they don’t find themselves paying hefty fines or facing criminal charges.

“If we’re not given the support that we would need to be able to have clarity with how these particular laws are going to be implemented, we need that support so we won’t be fined and we won’t be served citations regarding something that what might be happening on our farms,” said Gottbrath.

Coming up on October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case from Idaho specific to the WOTUS rule. That decision, which is expected early next year, will ultimately impact the direction of what happens with the EPA’s WOTUS rule.

Click HERE to read the impact of the WOTUS rule on farmers from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report how the EPA’s ‘WOTUS’ rule could lead to expensive fines or jail for farmers.

INFB Women’s Leadership Committee Shares Farm Policy Concerns with Sen. Braun

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who serves on the Senate Ag Committee, meets with the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee in Washington D.C. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

Making sure Indiana farmers have the tools they need to succeed is why the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee recently traveled to Washington D.C.

The committee met with Indiana’s lawmakers and administration officials to discuss their policy concerns for next year’s federal farm bill.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who serves on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, was one of the legislators who met with the Women’s Leadership Committee.

“I loved it because they were really on the issues,” said Braun. “They were asking questions in there that I don’t necessarily get asked when I visit all the farms talking about other issues. I was glad to have them there and it told me how much they are engaged in that total family operation.”

Indiana Farm Bureau representatives told Braun they were concerned that money for crop insurance programs would be greatly reduced at the expense of providing more money for conservation and food assistance programs.

“The whole farm bill has been whittled down to so little farming,” said Braun. “On the other side of the aisle right now, the discussion would be more heavy especially on nutrition, which is definitely dependent on farmers generating the products you’re going to eat. It’s going to be dependent on conservation, which many farmers are the true conservationists and they practice it. But, don’t make nutrition and conservation complicate the only assets of the farm bill anymore, which is crop insurance.”

The Women’s Leadership Committee also shared concerns about regulations governing Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) in relation to farmland – as well as proposed regulations that the Securities and Exchange Commission wants to impose on carbon markets that would be a burden to farmers and ag businesses.

“I don’t think farmers, at this stage of the game, can handle one more complication. It’s gotten complicated enough. 2023 has a lot of other issues, not only the high cost but even availability of inputs, so let’s keep the other stuff off the plate for now.”

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report from Washington D.C. as the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee addresses their concerns with Senator Braun over next year’s farm bill.

The Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee present Sen. Mike Braun with the Indiana Farm Bureau “Friend of Farm Bureau Award” in Washington D.C. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.


INFB Women’s Leadership Committee in DC Advocating for Indiana Farmers

Members of the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee during their week-long visit to Washington D.C. to share the stories of Indiana’s farmers with legislators to inspire action for the 2023 federal farm bill. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

As lawmakers are considering budgets and policies for next year’s federal farm bill, a group of women from Indiana Farm Bureau are in Washington this week to advocate and inspire action on behalf of Indiana’s farmers.

“If we’re not at the table, then we’re on the table,” says Isabella Chism, 2nd vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau and chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee.

Chism and members of the committee are meeting with lawmakers and administration officials to help guide the direction of next year’s farm bill.

“We want to make sure that we’re not changing things too drastically,” according to Chism. “If something is working, why would you change it? There are other things being discussed including conservation issues. We’re fully supportive of conservation issues, but not at the elimination of a safety net for farmers. I think it’s become even more evident that that’s a need for farmers.”

Chism says the Women’s Leadership Committee is working to represent Indiana’s farmers as they met with Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Mike Braun (R-IN), as well as House members and legislative assistants serving Indiana’s congressional districts on Tuesday.

“I think sometimes we take for granted what we do. The farmers are doing an excellent job out there in the fields and somebody needs to tell that story, and nobody is as believable as the farmer. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re asking farmers to tell their story in all different ways,” says Chism.

She says that another reason for the trip is to develop and empower women to be a voice for the ag industry.

“The women’s leadership committee exists to engage more women to develop them as leaders and to send them out as advocates supporting the mission and policy of our farm bureau members,” says Chism.

She adds that anyone can inspire action and be an effective advocate for Hoosier farmers.

“We want to show that this is something that anyone can do,” says Chism. “It’s not just for professional lobbyists. We are the everyday farmers from Indiana coming here to tell our story and to make sure that we can make a difference.”

Hoosier Ag Today’s C.J. Miller is in Washington D.C. all week long covering the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee as they share the stories of Indiana farmers with the lawmakers representing them in our nation’s capital.

Click HERE to listen to C.J. Miller’s report from Washington D.C. as the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee shares stories from Indiana farmers with Indiana’s legislators to inspire action for the 2023 federal farm bill.

Members of the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee inside the U.S. Capitol building rotunda during their week-long visit to Washington D.C. The committee is in our nation’s capital to share the stories of Indiana’s farmers with legislators to inspire action for the 2023 federal farm bill. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

Why Country Music Star Luke Bryan’s Latest Collaboration is with the Pork Industry

Country music superstar Luke Bryan in the newest “Mythbusters 2.0” video campaign produced by the National Pork Board. Photo from the National Pork Board video.

Country music superstar Luke Bryan is part of a new collaboration.

Sure, he’ll be co-hosting the upcoming CMA Awards with Peyton Manning. He’s on American Idol with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. He’s also recorded hit songs with Jason Aldean and Jordan Davis, but Bryan’s newest collaboration is with the pork industry!

Bryan has teamed up with the National Pork Board to help bridge the gap between America’s pig farmers and consumers.

Last year, the National Pork Board introduced a “Mythbusting” campaign to eliminate the misconceptions about pig farms when it comes to the safety of its animals, its workers and the environment.  Last year’s “Mythbusting” video featured Eric Stonestreet, best known for his Emmy-winning role on the TV show Modern Family.

This year’s campaign, known as “Mythbusting 2.0”, features Bryan in their video to educate others about the pork industry.

“He is from a farming family in Georgia. And so, he knows firsthand how hard farming can be,” says Heather Hill, who is president of the National Pork Board.  She is also a pork producer who farms near Greenfield in Hancock County, Indiana.

This year’s video campaign also shows a focus group being asked about the inside a five-star hotel – only to find out in the end that they were all inside of a modern hog farm the entire time without knowing it!

Heather Hill, who is president of the National Pork Board and a farmer from Greenfield in Hancock County, Indiana. Photo courtesy of the National Pork Board.

“And so, that is kind of the first step of Mythbusting 2.0,” says Hill. “And then, to follow that up with having a great voice like Luke Bryan behind it, is really super exciting to take us to that true 2.0 next level of mythbusting.”

She says the agency’s partnership with Luke Bryan will help others learn that the process to bring the pork from the farm to your dinner table is both clean and safe.

“Anything that can help get us from farm to fork to really connect with consumers from that standpoint, how we work very closely with our veterinarians and are very passionate about what we do, really the We Care ethical principles.”

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s radio news report on country music superstar Luke Bryan’s collaboration with the National Pork Board to eliminate misconceptions about the pork industry.

Click BELOW to watch the National Pork Board’s “Mythbusting 2.0” video featuring country music superstar Luke Bryan.

Purdue Professor Jackie Boerman Urges Students to Seek Career Paths in the Dairy Industry

Dr. Jackie Boerman, Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue University. Photo courtesy of Purdue University.

Click BELOW to hear the “The Dairy Download Podcast presented by American Dairy Association Indiana” featuring Dr. Jackie Boerman, Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue University, as she discusses the many career opportunities for students that exist within the dairy industry.

When it comes to the dairy industry, there are a lot of different career opportunities that high school and college students may not know exist.

“Careers in animal science are numerous and they are diverse,” says Dr. Jackie Boerman, Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue. She says the university is working to place students in careers involving the dairy industry related to scientific research, as well as the development of new technologies involving computers and robots.

“We’re now looking for students who are open to learning things that are a little outside of what we traditionally think about animal sciences,” says Dr. Boerman. “I look for students who have some data science skills, maybe have a little bit of engineering interests. It may be different than what you would traditionally think of animal science. We need a strong animal science background so we can develop technologies and sensors that make sense for production agriculture.”

Dr. Boerman also urges students to find careers in laboratory science to find better treatments or cures for cattle diseases like bovine mastitis and Foot-and-mouth Disease.

“There is a lot of that research in that area to try to detect the causative agent of different pathogens,” says Dr. Boerman. “We’re always looking for students who have that next great idea, are interested in research, and then welcome them into labs to try to hone some of those skills.”

Dr. Boerman says there are a number of outstanding career opportunities in scientific research for the dairy industry. Mohit Verma, professor of agricultural and biological engineering in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, successfully developed an on-site bovine respiratory disease test as part of his research on dairy cattle. Photo courtesy of Purdue University.

Students may not realize a lot of sales and marketing jobs that support the dairy industry are also available.

“People that are willing to go out and talk to producers about the different offerings they have is always really valuable,” according to Dr. Boerman. “Someone who is comfortable on the farm and comfortable talking about the benefits of whatever they’re trying to sell or to market. Those tend to be jobs that pay pretty well, especially for a recent graduate.”

What advice does Dr. Boerman have for high school students who are thinking about the many different careers available in the dairy industry?

“Start working on a farm or maybe volunteering at a vet clinic that services large animals,” suggests Dr. Boerman. “I think if people see that you’re willing to put in the effort, they’re going to try to help you in a lot of other ways in your future.”

Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

Both Sides of ‘Right-to-Repair’ Farm Equipment Debate Presented Before House Subcommittee

Both sides of the right-to-repair debate in agriculture were presented during a hearing this week before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee.

The debate is whether Congress should limit the restrictions that manufacturers are allowed to place on their software, parts, and tools so that farmers, third-party mechanics and customers can be allowed to make their own repairs on equipment.

Ken Taylor of the Equipment Dealers Association expressed concern that giving people access to internal software in their equipment would allow them to change emissions and safety controls in tractors and other implements. While dealers already sell several parts directly to farmers, the manufacturer’s association doesn’t want customers tampering with controls for safety, environmental, and health reasons.

Gay Gordon-Byrne represented the Repair Association and said farmers just want to be able to get parts and make repairs themselves.

“All this worry about modifying emissions and tweaking tractors isn’t repair,” said Gordon-Byrne. “Our legislative intent is to allow competition for the business of repair as a basic requirement supporting the rights of equipment owners to control their property.”

Source: NAFB News Service.

Return of Hot, Dry Weather May Benefit Indiana’s Corn, Soybeans Before Harvest

As hot, dry weather returns to Indiana over the next several days, that might be a good thing for Indiana’s corn and soybeans leading into harvest.

“I think it’s going to be a blessing in disguise,” says Eric Wornhoff, Field Sales Representative with Specialty Hybrids. He is based out of Lebanon in Boone County. With dry conditions and highs near 90 degrees over the next several days, Wornhoff says that’s exactly what Indiana’s crops need.

“We need to get this crop going. There’s a lot of corn out there that’s right there at the half milk line or a little less than the half milk line that really needs those extra heat units to push it through to finish. Everybody loves to start harvesting in shorts and tee shirts and really don’t want Carhartts and hoodies outside to get going here in September,” says Wornhoff.

How are soybeans looking across west-central Indiana?

“Beans are a little slower than normal,” according to Wornhoff. “I believe that were still filling pods. We’re still making good quality beans. Disease pressure and bug pressure has been kind of minimal on soybeans, so a little heat and sunshine to get this crop finished out is going to help us get rolling and get a good start and hopefully we’ve got a good six-to-eight weeks here to get wheels under this crop and more importantly get it to market cash in on these good prices we have right now.”

Even though the USDA is forecasting a record yield for Indiana’s soybeans, Wornhoff says that likely won’t be the case.

Eric Wornhoff, Field Sales Representative with Specialty Hybrids.

“If you really go out and look at soybeans right now and you pulled the canopy back, the lower third of the plant has got a lot of pods missing on the first six-to-eight inches from the ground up,” according to Wornhoff. “I don’t see a real over-the-top record. There’s going to be some great bean yields out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lot of 70-bushels-per-acre yields, but the stress we had early isn’t all fixed by the rains we had in August and early September.”

Eric adds that this year’s corn yield will be impacted by the heat and drought stress from earlier this summer.

“There’s still going to be some good corn out there. There’s going to be some great corn in some areas.  There is also going to be some farms and fields that should have a 225 or 240 bushel per acre average that are going to be far below 200 bushels per acre just because of the lack of rain and that the extended tip back that we see a lot of areas to the extreme heat and dry spell we had this summer,” says Wornhoff.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s radio news report on the return of hot, dry weather and how it may ultimately benefit Indiana’s corn and soybean crops before harvest.

Click BELOW to hear the FULL podcast interview with Eric Wornhoff with Specialty Hybrids as he provides analysis of corn and soybean crops across west-central Indiana heading into harvest.

At Specialty Hybrids, it’s your field, our Specialty. Find your local field sales representative and dealer online at

How a Rail Workers Strike Would Impact Indiana’s Farmers and Ag Industry

A possible strike of U.S. rail workers could happen by this weekend – and that could affect Indiana’s farmers and ag businesses.

“This is the time that we need our railroads to be a facilitator of agricultural success and not an obstacle to it,” says Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.

More than 60,000 rail workers could go on strike if the unions and rail companies don’t reach a labor agreement by late Thursday night. If a rail strike does happen, that could create additional supply-chain disruptions that would negatively impact Indiana’s farmers and the ag industry.

“So much of what U.S. farmers grow gets put onto a rail car to either serve a domestic customer, or it’ll go to a port where be put on an ocean vessel for the export market,” says Steenhoek. “We can’t have profitable farmers if we don’t have a supply chain that can effectively connect supply with demand. Railroads are an integral part of that.”

Steenhoek says the trucking industry would not be able to pick up the slack from a rail strike.

“One 100-car train has the freight capacity of 400 semi trucks,” according to Steenhoek. “If you, all of a sudden, have a decrease or stoppage of rail service these other modes simply can’t fully absorb what the railroads transport.”

The Soy Transportation Coalition is among many different ag groups urging federal lawmakers to get involved, if an agreement isn’t made in time.

“If the two parties, the railroads and the railroad workers, do not come to an agreement and a strike or some kind of lockout does occur, we implore Congress to step in and prevent that from happening. Congress can do that. There is a precedent for that. They do have that authority. We just clearly want to see the two parties come to an agreement that benefits both and allows our rail industry to move forward and serve agriculture and other industries. This is particularly important as we’re on the eve of harvest,” says Steenhoek.

If a rail shutdown does start on Friday, that could cause 30 percent of the nation’s total freight to come to a grinding halt.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s radio news report how a rail workers strike could impact Indiana’s farmers and the ag industry.

Click BELOW to hear the FULL Podcast interview with Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, as he talks about the impact that a possible rail strike would have on the ag industry.