Sponsored By
indiana Prairie Farmer Logo

Technology is in the Eye of the Beholder!Technology is in the Eye of the Beholder!

New practices reach Amish farms, too.

Tom Bechman 1

April 14, 2013

2 Min Read

Bill Pickart, former Master Farmer, seed rep and farmer, will be reporting on crop conditions and other observations this spring and summer from his home in Carroll County. He will be contributing a new feature called Friday Field Walk, debuting on the Website May 3.

Tuning up for his new assignment, Pickart rode with a current seed rep in his area recently. He was looking for anyone who might be out doing early fieldwork and he was surprised at what he saw.

On their way to Silver Lake he saw plowing, but with horses, not tractors! There were two teams of two horses, he noted. He saw them still within the boundaries of Carroll County.


"It was quite a sight," Pickart says. "They had LED lights on their broad-brimmed hats!"

He also saw some more expected farm activity, but no planting. This was before any showers that fell over the past week. He saw an anhydrous applicator running in one field, and a field cultivator in another. Both stirred up lots of dust.

Most people appeared to be waiting to see what the weather would do. The slow, cool start to spring has held some people back from getting into the field as soon as they normally would. He heard one report of someone putting on anhydrous ammonia, but conditions were preventing the soil from sealing well behind it. Lots of dollars can evaporate into thin air without good sealing during applications.

While not a problem in his area, some anhydrous applicators were spotted in central Indiana applying where soils are wetter. In the past, extension agronomists have noted that pre-planting anhydrous ammonia applications can be responsible for creating soil compaction at deeper levels if the soil is not dry down several inches deep. Whether that compaction shows up or not may depend upon weather conditions during the growing season.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like