Hoosier Ag Today in the Buddy Seat: Northern Indiana

Here at Hoosier Ag Today, we enjoy heading out into the fields and taking a ride in that buddy seat. I had the opportunity to do just that recently with John Whaley, a corn and soybean farmer in Newton, Jasper, Benton, White, and Carroll counties here in Indiana as well as Iroquois County in Illinois.
While we were harvesting soybeans, Whaley told me that he had hoped soybean yields were a bit better, but overall, they were acceptable. His top-yielding fields weren’t as strong this year, something we’ve been hearing from many farmers.
“The more marginal soils seem to be doing a little better. We had a long dry spell, five weeks without rain there in June. I think that affected the early maturing soybeans. That being said, the first ones planted probably dealt with the biggest impact of it, so the later, more marginal ground we probably would tend to plant later, I think, handled that situation a little bit better. So, we’re seeing maybe not the best farms actually performing at or above expectations.”
Whaley and I also discussed the business side of farming as we roll closer to 2023. In 2022, all the talk surrounded record-high input costs.
“But when you put the numbers to it and you looked at what you could sell crop for, maybe it didn’t look so bad. Now, as we look forward to the coming season, again we’re looking at record high input prices, higher yet- another 20%, 30%, 40% higher depending on what you’re talking about, especially on the fertilizer side. And not a lot of opportunity out there to go necessarily lock profit in. So, the 2023 cropping season could pose to be a little more challenging than what 2022 was. If you didn’t figure out how to make money in 2022, you probably didn’t get your inputs bought when you needed to.”
Whaley says he likes his operation to be heavier corn, around a 60-40 corn-to-soybean ratio, and assuming he can keep some of the inputs locked in that he’s been planning on, he’ll be that way again in 2023.

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