Bryan Overstreet answers questions during 2016 Purdue farm tour
ASK AND LEARN: Bryan Overstreet (right, in front of applicator) answers questions during the 2016 Purdue farm management tour. Local Extension educators will play a big role in this year’s tour, as well.

Farm management tour continues in Howard County

Two farms in Howard County will open their gates to visitors on June 23 as part of Purdue's annual Indiana Farm Management Tour.

Michael Langemeier is sure you will want to take notes at the 2017 Indiana Farm Management Tour. Langemeier, assistant director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, will be on hand when the tour heads to Howard County on June 23. The tour begins in Carroll County on June 22.

The program includes the Master Farmer banquet on the first evening. Contact your Extension office for information about how to reserve a spot at the Master Farmer dinner.

Bryan Kirkpatrick and Scott Maple, hosts of the second-day tour stops, provide insights about their farms through these brief interviews with Indiana Prairie Farmer.

Stop 1: Kirkpatrick Farms, Greentown

IPF: What is the basic nature of your farm operation?

Kirkpatrick: Kirkpatrick Farms produces corn and soybeans. We grow commercial corn for food consumption and seed beans for Beck’s. We also operate a seed warehouse to provide local distribution for our Beck’s customers. We improve land quality through ditching our fields.

IPF: Who manages the farm?

Kirkpatrick: I am the owner and general manager for production and business. My wife, Susan, is an owner and assistant manager. Kevin Breisch specializes in production management, and Gerald Miller does equipment management.

IPF: What are some of your crop practices?

Kirkpatrick: We work ground with field cultivators in the spring and use a ripper in the fall. We shoot for 33,500 to 34,000 population in corn, and 150,000 to 158,000 in soybeans.

We’re in the Conservation Stewardship Program, which has led us to install 40 filter strips along creek banks.

IPF: What unique things can people see at your farm?

Kirkpatrick: We have a chemical shed, which serves as a dike where we store 28% N. We also have a fuel station dike we have used for several years.

Stop 2: Maple Farms, Kokomo

IPF: What crops do you grow?

Maple: We grow corn, soybeans and a few acres of seed wheat for DuPont Pioneer. Two-thirds of our soybeans are Pioneer seed beans. About 80% to 90% of our corn goes to Agricor in Marion, where it’s milled for food products. We raise both conventional and non-GMO corn for that market, and also raise white corn.

IPF: Who manages and works on the farm?

Maple: Ten of us work full time, with some seasonal employees. I take care of financial management and landlord relations. My brother Mark oversees grain handling and marketing. My cousin Tom oversees planting and harvesting. His son Daryl heads up crop recordkeeping and seed selection. His other son, Jason, is in charge of machinery maintenance and personnel.

IPF: What will Extension specialists likely focus on at your farm?

Maple: Succession planning. My dad and uncle are still here every day, but they’ve turned management over to us. That’s a real compliment to them. We will explain how we adapted our management style in order to achieve a holistic transfer of the business.  

Refer to the map for driving directions to each farm.

Jim Mintert, Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture

Stop 1: Kirkpatrick Farms, 13961 E 300 S, Greentown
Stop 2: Maple Farms, 3924 S 250 E, Kokomo
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