June 20, 2024

From the Fields: Ludwig family scouts fields, prepares for harvest

We are finishing our last fungicide and herbicide applications. We have had a few weeds push through our early herbicide application, so we have been forced to make another pass to clean some weeds up.

Most of our focus is beginning to shift to preparations for the upcoming harvest. It seems with grain handling equipment there is always maintenance, improvements and repairs to be made.

Crop scouting seems to last until the combine is in the field. When one disease or insect is done, the next one to scout for moves in. We have treated the majority of our acres with fungicide. We are closely monitoring our corn for tar spot. If it moves in, we will make another application.

With new technology, such as satellite imagery and the use of drones, scouting has gotten a lot easier.

For beans, this year the biggest enemy seems to be Japanese beetles. They moved in early and have caused quite a bit of damage. Corn has remained surprisingly healthy.

We apply a fungicide at planting that has seemed to really help keep the plants healthy through most of the growing season. We are definitely on the lookout for any disease pressure that might move in late summer, especially tar spot.

The hot weather did affect the crops somewhat. Luckily, it was very short-lived. Except for one or two weeks, we have really had a very nice summer so far with mild temperatures.

The weather from here on out will play a huge part of how this crop finishes out. I think we have potential for a very good crop, but if hot dry weather moves in, it will struggle to finish strong. Only time will tell.

There have been quite a few fairs this summer. We are one of the few communities left in Indiana that still has a city fair. The Clay City fair was our first fair of the summer. Then we moved on to the Clay County Fair.

Our kids enjoy showing animals and doing projects, and it is a joy as a parent to watch them work hard as they prepare for the fairs each year.

We made our way to the Indiana State Fair, too, where we volunteered at Taste from Indiana Farms and helped pass out samples of foods and drinks that contain ingredients Indiana farmers produce. We are rounding out the summer with our Clay County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting next week.

Harvest preparations will become the main tasks over the next couple weeks. Our farm uses around 30 different grain bins on eight different bin sites, so it takes quite a bit of time to prepare and maintain all the bins, auger and so forth.

We use the help of our dealer to inspect and repair our combines each year. This has reduced our breakdowns and downtime during harvest. Aside from that, we are going to spend our time enjoying the last bit of summer with our children and continue to be thankful to God for this life we get to live.

Dwight and Tiffany Ludwig

Dwight and Tiffany Ludwig

Cory, Indiana