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Indiana Farmer on a Mission at Commodity Classic


Indiana farmers at Classic

Alan KemperThe 20th Commodity Classic is underway returning to Phoenix where the first was held. Many of the nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers are here for the nice weather, but more importantly they’re looking for ways to improve their operations. Lafayette’s Alan Kemper is even learning more about a crop he has never raised.

“The Classic gives you diversity of agricultural products and organizations. I’ve actually been sitting in the sorghum general session learning what their issues are, how genetics are affecting them and about their worldwide base. Exports to China are becoming huge for them so that helps take some of pressure and some of the acres away from corn and soybeans.

Kemper said there could be a future for sorghum in the Hoosier state.

“You see some sorghum and milo being raised in some of the southern Indiana areas more for niche markets, but for a lot of us producers we’re just always trying to keep our eyes open.”

He also said he is on a mission at Commodity Classic to find ways to tighten input costs as much as he can, given the current state of corn and soybean prices.

“It’s the old adage we’re sharpening our pencils extremely well. We look for wherever we can bring down fuel costs, seed costs, bring down chemicals, maybe we can avoid one extra rate of chemicals is huge to us. So we’re fine tuning. I think all the operators that will be survivors of these couple years that we’re into will be doing that.”

In light of current prices, Kemper is making adjustments to his usual corn-soybean mix this growing season.

“I think that we’re looking at the risk and particularly with the markets up a little bit on the soybeans. There’s a lot less risk by planting more soybean acres, at least on our farming operation. We’re normally a 50/50 mix of corn and soybeans in the Lafayette area, and on our farm this year we’re probably going to be 60 percent on soybeans just to minimize some of the risk.”

Tipton County farmer John Hussey is a Commodity Classic regular who attends as many of the What’s New sessions as he can.

“We were just in a session on tire pressure and we’re going to follow up on that in the trade show. Less tire pressure, less compaction,” he learned.

Hussy told HAT his usual 50/50 corn-soybean rotation will stay intact this year. Hear more in the HAT interview:John Hussey at Classic