I-80 Harvest: Northern Indiana Farmers Wrap Up Harvest

November 9, 2016 11:10 AM

The Hoosier state has 87 percent of corn and 91 percent of soybeans out of the ground, but this year didn’t come without its weather extremes.

Harvest time for the Parkers is a family affair.

“You spend holidays together and you farm together all day too,” said Tom Parker of LaPorte, Ind.

“I run the dryer,” said Harold Parker. “I’m the gopher. If we need something, I go and get it.”

While harvest help is the same for this family come fall, the Parker family knows every crop year is different.

“We’ve dealt with every condition you can deal with this year,” said Tom.

Tom said the area experienced drought, then hail and rain that led to a flash flood.

“The drought really hurt things early,” said Tom. “We went almost a month without any rain. This ground can’t take it. When we got rain, it opened up and we got around fifteen inches of rain in a week.”

Tom said corn handled the weather the worst, but he still ended harvest with an average corn crop and slightly above average soybean crop. However, he is drying almost all of his soybeans.

“I know some people have been stuck, but it looks like we’ll have a good or better bean crop than we’ve ever had,” said Harold.

Scott Szczypiorski is still experiencing some holdups this year.

“It’s been a struggle this spring,” said Szczypiorski.

That’s continued into the fall with stuck machinery and wet fields. He doesn’t have a dryer or a bin, so he’s waiting on Mother Nature to dry the crop.

“We want to run and get as much done before the next rain storm,” said Szczpiorski.

This year brought extremes in the weather.

“Right after I planted soybeans, it rained on them,” said Szczpiorski. “Then it got cold for ten days. Then, they didn’t want to come out of the ground.”

He says soybean yields are excellent.

“They’re yielding roughly 80 bushels per acre,” said Szczpiorski. “So far, it’s better than I expected. I expected a poor crop but everything seems to be average or better.”

Some hiccups but farm families are wrapping up another year and are thankful to farm again.

The Parkers have finished harvest. Szczpiorski still has some ground to cover. Both farmers say they’ve heard of some mold and disease in the area due to rain. 

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