Farmers more optimistic heading into 2013 harvest - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Farmers more optimistic heading into 2013 harvest


Summer is officially over this coming weekend and you can already see signs of fall. 90 degree temperatures seem to be behind us, leaves are changing colors and farmers are busy.

For Katie Darr, farming is in the blood. "Once harvest starts, it's busy until we're done."

Her family owns Crestview Farms in Syracuse. Ever since she was a little girl, THIS has been her favorite time of year. "I look forward to harvest a lot. We try new techniques, new methods all year to try and grow the best crop we can and it's always fun to see the fruits of our labor and go out and enjoy the harvest together as a family."

Her family farms 1500 acres in Kosciusko County and she says their fields are looking good. "We're happy. A bigger crop than last year overall with the corn, beans it's still kind of a wait and see type thing."

She says they had plenty of rain at first, but the last six weeks were dry which slowed down the beans. "We haven't had a rain over an inch since the first week of August. It's dried out considerably, but overall a good crop."

And her cousin, agronomist Matt Grady says that's what he is seeing in surrounding counties. "I don't want to put too much emphasis on these last six weeks, that it hurt the crop that bad, everybody's going to be pretty happy for the most part with what their going to get when they start into the fields."

At Purdue Extension Kelly Heckaman says there won't be a record crop this year, both beans and corn yields will be about average. "Average, this year is going to be way better than drought last year where we averaged about 100 bushels to the acre."

This year, she says farmers are looking at 150 to 160 bushels to the acre and Darr says she can't wait to get started. "It's always more fun to harvest a bigger crop."

So what does a good crop mean for you? Heckaman says that food prices at the grocery will stay pretty consistent. You shouldn't see big jumps like last year.

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