By Daryl Bridenbaugh
Virtually all the corn in my township was planted last week along with a lot of soybeans and some tomatoes. One tool that is extremely popular here is the Kongskilde field cultivator. Most all of the full time farmers have one. I run mine just a couple inches deep - scraping the top and cutting out weeds. It is a tool I would hate to be without.
Other tools my neighbors are using are the Great Plains Turbo-Max, the Case IH True Tandem 330 Turbo & True Tandem 335 VT disks, and the Kuhn Excelerator. A lot of corn was planted in a stale seed bed. The aforementioned tools were used last fall. A major switch is on to wider planters. Many of the guys who have six row planters are parking them and having neighbors use their newer and wider planters to do the job.
Hog expansion continues at the fastest pace ever. I have heard of two separate 5,000 sow operations being built. Farmers are building contract nurseries and finishing buildings all over the place.
Shopping malls are becoming deserted due to online competition. It is pretty neat for farmers that farm stores are going into some of these abandoned spaces. Some of the stores are Tractor Supply, Rural King, Big R and Farm & Family. On the downside, these stores are going to take business away from traditional feed mills and hardware stores. It is going to be cut throat competition.
Tomatoes under glass
There are two new hydroponic greenhouses that are producing tomatoes. One has 40 acres under roof in Wapakoneta, Ohio. The owners plan to quadruple its size. The other is in Delta, Ohio (next to Toledo). It has 45 acres under roof and soon they hope to expand it to three times its size. I find it ironic that I know of a couple smaller greenhouses that are sitting idle. It seems that the trend is to the newest and biggest in virtually all aspects of agriculture.