Jim Mintert is convinced this year's Indiana Farm Management Tour is one you won’t want to miss. Mintert, director of the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture, says both days feature great farms with lots to learn both about management styles and technology.
The tour begins on June 22 in Carroll County with two stops. It’s a driving tour, so you can visit both stops or only one. It continues June 23 with two stops in Howard County.
The Master Farmer banquet will be held in Delphi on the evening of June 22.
Here is what you can expect on the first day. Brian Scott, host at the first stop, and Neil Mylet, host at the second stop, give a glimpse of what they will highlight in these brief interviews with Indiana Prairie Farmer.
Stop 1: Scott Farms, Delphi
IPF: What do you grow on your farm?
Scott: We grow corn, soybeans, popcorn and wheat.
IPF: Who is involved in managing the farm?
Scott: The management team consists of my dad, John, and me. It’s up to us to keep things moving.
IPF: Can you give us more details about your crop operation?
Scott: Sure. We use minimum tillage and no-till wherever possible. As far as row width on crops, we use 30-inch rows for both corn and soybeans. You asked about plant populations. We typically shoot for 32,000 to 34,000 plants per acre on corn, and 140,000 plants per acre on soybeans. We like to sidedress the bulk of our nitrogen for corn and popcorn.
IPF: What makes your farm unique?
Scott: Popcorn sets us apart somewhat from some of the other farms in the area. We also grow soybeans for seed production. Almost half of our bean acres are typically for seed. Half of the regular corn we grow is waxy corn.
Stop 2: Mylet Farms, Camden
IPF: What is the basic nature of your operation?
Mylet: We are only small farmers but work hard to be efficient at everything we do. We only have about 600,000 bushels of grain storage, but it is fully automated and keeps us busy during the summer hauling grain.
IPF: Who is on the management team?
Mylet: We involve everyone, both family members and employees. Having an open ecosystem that provides a chance for everyone to have a voice creates a competitive internal environment that improves the effectiveness of our business execution on a daily basis. Family members include my father, Tom; uncle Joe; and brother, Nicholas. He is pursuing his MBA in California, but plays an active role on the farm through remote technology. My dad, uncle and myself all have unique careers outside of farming. Employees Eric Bell and Scott McCain are tremendous assets to our operation.
IPF: What unique things will be featured?
Mylet: I love inventing new technology because I enjoy making agriculture better for people. Some technologies developed here include automation that enables loading grain from a smartphone and biometric clothing and head gear that allow workers to monitor their health in real time.
Refer to the map below for driving directions to each stop. For Day 2 details, click here.