• Tom Bechman

    Calendar Moves Quickly Once March 1 Arrives

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on February 24, 2014

    Three months of cold, snow and ice are enough to make anybody think spring will never get here. But it will. Just look on the calendar. The 28 days of February are nearly gone. This coming Saturday is March 1. And once March arrives, it seems like the calendar slips into overdrive. The days fall off quickly. If your target planting date is April 15, that means you could be planting in just over six weeks, assuming the snow is gone and conditions are right. The snow will be gone. Whether…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Farmer's Wish List for 2014

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 30, 2013

    What would you like to happen around your farm and in your community during the New Year? Here are a few ideas. Even though I mainly raise sheep, I've thrown in a few ideas of my own too. The caution word for this list probably should be to be careful what you wish for. If some of these things really happened, things might not turn out as rosy as you might think. And it's quite possible that maybe one or two of these things will happen. One. The fertilizer dealer calls you up and…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Mad Dash To The End of the Year

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 2, 2013

    Black Friday is over but the mad dash shopping continues since Christmas is roughly three weeks away. There's no time to lose, or at least that's what retailers want you to believe. Farming has its own version of the mad dash – decisions to make before Dec. 31 expires and a new tax year begins. Should you buy new equipment? Should you sell grain this year? Should you pay ahead on inputs to get discounts? Here are a few insights about decisions a typical farm operation might face…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Why You Should Chat With Your Extension Educator

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on November 18, 2013

    Perhaps the famous picture of the old-time county extension agent visiting a farm with a 4-H member and seeing him work with his Guernsey heifer is a bit out of date. It's a nice reminder of times gone by. But it's far from indicative of how modern Extension educators have changed with the times to provide information and services their community needs. Somewhere between when that picture was painted and today, many no longer contact their Extension agent, now called an educator, for…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Great To See Golden Corn Again

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on October 7, 2013

    Dave Nanda kept asking me the other day when we met, "what did you learn from 2013?" One of my first answers was that there are ears in the field, there is life after 2012. Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc. and a frequent columnist, thought I was kidding, but I was dead serious. I don't know how many times I asked farmers this year how their corn crop was doing, and their answer was nearly always the same: "Well, at least there…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Farmers Await Harvest With Lots of Questions

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 16, 2013

    Arguing this growing season didn't have two distinct halves would be tough. It started out cool and wet – wet enough to delay planting or at least push it back beyond where most people like to start. Then it brought rain in June, too much in some places, just enough in others. July was cool overall with adequate rain in many places. Here comes the split personality. It went from a cool and wet trend to a hot and dry trend just in time to burst the bubble of those dreaming of…

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  • Tom Bechman

    2013 Farm Progress Show Went From Hot to Sizzling

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 2, 2013

    If you stayed away from the 2013 Farm Progress Show because it was hot, you missed a lot of great products. Exhibitors once again saved several of their latest products to introduce at the show. Others brought things they weren't even willing to talk about yet. The most talked about item at the show was an amphibious manure lagoon pump made by the young engineer and son of the company president of Nuhn Manufacturing. He worked on it right up to the show so it hasn't been tested…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Will A Good Corn Year Slow Land Prices?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 12, 2013

    Purdue University just issued a report which claims that in a recent survey of bankers and farm managers, land values went up an average of 17% statewide in the past 12 months. Craig Dobbins, who helps conduct the survey, says that's staggering considering that drought produced drastic yield reductions. Farming isn't just about yield – it's also about price. Limited supplies nationwide drove corn and soybean prices higher last fall. Farm incomes went up. In fact…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Welcome to the New Normal in Crop Farming

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 6, 2013

    When rains covered the state the third week of April, some with lots of acres to plant got jittery. Their grandpa would probably think they had lost their minds. When grandpa or great grandpa farmed, late April was for hauling manure, maybe plowing. Planting corn? You had to be kidding. The oak leaves weren't as big as squirrel ears yet! And planting soybeans? Call the men in the white coats! Even if your grandpa was more progressive, odds are he wouldn't dream of planting…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Have We Seen The Last Snow of the Season?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 1, 2013

    Farmers who planted corn on March 26 last year looked out their office windows this year and saw three to 10 inches of snow on the ground in many parts of Indiana. That didn't stop them from working on their corn planter in the shop that day, because they know it wouldn't be around long. Indeed, by the weekend Frosty has melted away until next year. We hope. "Do you think we've seen our last snow this year?" one caller asked me late last week. I gave the normal…

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