Poor crop yields in various parts of the state are hitting some farm operations very hard. Even if the farmer has crop insurance and didn't forward contract, it's no fun harvesting corn that makes less than 40 bushels per acre. The lowest report filtering in is that one farmer actually combined a field that wound up making one bushel to the acre!
One afternoon last week a message popped up on my cell phone. It had the heading "News Flash." It also featured the picture of a John Deere machine in the field, and the information: "Company introduces new self-propelled rotary mower."
Just having returned from the 2012 Farm Progress Show, which featured more new products than have been introduced there in quite a while, I could believe about anything. I also didn't cover the new Deere products. One of my counterparts did that. You'll be seeing reports on the nearly 200 new products our New Products Team found beginning in the October issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer.
Ok, I thought this was legit. They had me at "news flash." I'm surprised companies haven't started disseminating new product information by text message to the media. But when I pulled up the whole message and read it, I soon figured out it was a hoax. It was a picture of a combine, not a rotary mower, heading into a muddy field to harvest what few bushels of corn were there, and at least do a good job of mowing down the skimpy fodder. I knew for sure it was a hoax when the last line said it would be priced according to normal yield of corn in a normal year.
Some of my 'friends' in southern Indiana had included me in the exclusive network that received this little prank. I soon replied back with a "ha, ha!" – type comment. What I got back from one of them pretty much sums up 2012 for a large number of Indiana farmers
"We're just trying to have a little fun and get people to smile. Otherwise, if you think about it too much, you'll cry."