The Feeding Farmers crew went to R-Hart Farm in Auglaize County on Oct. 4 for lunch and fellowship with Alan and Randi Rinehart and family.

2023 Feeding Farmers in the Field

By Joel Penhorwood and Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Ag Net was once again Feeding Farmers in the Field this fall with cooperation from 92.1 The Frog, as well as AG Boogher and Son, RRR Tire, Fertilizer Dealer Supply, North Star Hardware & Implement Co., Farm Credit Mid-America, VTF-Sunrise, Homan Inc., and Golden Harvest. The program serves up lunch and prizes to four farms during the busy harvest season in the 92.1 listening area. Each of the farms was kind enough to offer a harvest update and insights into their operation.

King Family of Allen County, Sept. 27

The King Family of Allen County hosted the first week of the 2023 edition of Feeding Farmers in the Field. Andy King of T&D Enterprises farms with his father and uncle and recently bought into the operation.

Andy King in Allen County talked with Joel Penhorwood for the first Feeding Farmers of the fall.

“I was fortunate for them to allow me to buy into the farm. So many farms are dying off because the next generation is not getting in. We have corn and soybeans and then we all have off-the-farm jobs in the trucking industry, so it keeps us busy,” King said. “I was nervous about making a big leap and getting in, but long term I think it’ll be good. A lot of people depend on farmers and young farmers coming up through the pipeline.”

In late September harvest had not yet started for the Kings.

“We’ll be out in the field here in a couple of weeks and see what we’ve got, but I think it’s going to be a respectable average, maybe a little bit better than that. We missed a couple of rains that we wish we could have gotten, but we’ve also gotten some rains that some other people didn’t get, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “The corn we pulled looks like it’s filled out and we don’t see too much tar spot on corn, so hopefully our fungicide applications have done their job.”

 King is looking forward to continuing innovation down the road.

“Technology, I think, has a stronghold in the agriculture industry now and it can give you a lot of information that we didn’t have before to better yourself for the next year,” he said.

R-Hart Farm in Auglaize County, Oct. 4

Leaves were turning and combines were rolling for the second week of the program with a stop at the farm of Alan and Randi Rinehart.

“We’ve been farming since I was born in this area. One year after school I worked away from home before I came back. My brother and I were in partnership for about 10 years milking cows. He went on to get another job and we continued on from there. We just sold the cows last August so we’re back in the grain farming now,” Alan said. “We had a lot of crops that got planted at the end of April and the crops all come up right away, and then there was kind of a snap that people couldn’t do anything. A lot of our crops were coming out of the ground before a lot of guys even got in the fields. Our beans pretty much all matured at the same time, so we’ve had a very good run. we’ve run two Sundays and we’ve ran almost 150 acres of beans during that period. They’re doing well. They’re averaging between 60 and 70 bushels They’ve been dry, anywhere from 9% to 11% moisture. We just tried corn last night and this morning and it’s a little wetter. It looks dry but it’s still 28% to 26%, and so we’re going to try to take a little more time.”

Conditions have been on the dry side since a nice one-inch rain in August, setting the stage for more harvest progress and some late cutting hay.

“We’ve always made late cuttings of hay and it’s usually hard to get dry this late in the fall. I had a guy called me and wanted me to make 50 acres for him, so I’m going to go make some wet wraps to get his last cutting hay made for his cows,” Alan said.

Jeremy Heitz Auglaize County, Oct. 11

Harvest is going well after a challenging 2023.

“April 1 we had the tornado come through and we lost our 80-by-148 shop, so we spent the whole summer getting it all cleaned up. They got in here and got it put back up. We added a 20-by-148 lean-to across the backside to help stiffen it up so hopefully we don’t have it on the ground again and for extra storage space and a little extra room in the shop. We’ve got heated floors in the main area and we’ll have the back heated also,” Heitz said. “We also lost our wet bin so they’re building it currently. We’ll get that back up, get our dryer pipe put up and get our other bin finished up hopefully. Overall, we had damage to pretty much all of our buildings, but none to the extent of what our shop took.”

The impressive new farm shop for the Heitz farm in Auglaize County is being finished up and sustaining serious wind damage this spring.

This new building has added knee braces to better tie the rafters into the walls and hurricane straps.

“We also put LED lighting in, which is very bright and nice. We didn’t change too much, but we’ve planned on where the welders will be to get the electric for that and have that all set up with our workbenches,” he said “We ran all the electric and air inside the walls and planned everything to organize it the best we could. We ended up mounting our air compressor and our phase converter up on top of a closet we added in the main area of the shop where we store our oil and cleaning supplies.”

Harvest was going strong for the farm’s 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans.

“We’ve got a good start, but we’re waiting on a couple more fields of beans to turn and hopefully get the wet bin up so we can shell some corn. So far this year we’ve had pretty great weather for it. It seemed like a little bit of a later start than usual, but overall, it’s going pretty smooth,” Heitz said. “We’re supposed to be getting some rain here but we’ll see how much we do get.”

The farm has started strip-tilling.

“This is our second year with our own strip-till for H2Ohio. We got a bigger tractor pull it this year. We found out we need a little more hydraulic power and horsepower. It saves a lot of time with working ground,” Heitz said. “We’re at 40 feet wide versus chisel plowing at 14.5 feet, and we’re putting on the fertilizer where it needs to be. You’ve got control of it and you’re not having as much runoff. In the spring, it seems a little bit better to get right in there with the corn planter. You don’t have to worry about running over it with the field cultivator and can save some time there. H2Ohio seems to be one of the easier programs that we’ve been involved with. It’s kind of a no brainer to do with this strip-till.”

Matt Treglia, Creek Bottom Farms, Allen, Hardin and Hardin counties, Oct. 18

Creek Bottom Farms was established in 1999 by two friends, Matt Treglia and Chad Grant. Over the past 24 years, their corn-wheat-soybean operation has grown and they now farm 6,500 acres in Allen, Hardin, and Hancock counties.

Dusty Sonnenberg visited Creek Bottom Farms on Oct. 18 for the final Feeding Farmers of the fall.

“It was two farm families, two operations that merged together at that point. We actually started with about 284 acres and we were really young and didn’t have any technology compared to today, but and that’s how we got started in this,” Treglia said. “This year has been pretty consistent — it’s been pretty consistently dry. I’ve got to be honest with you I thought the beans would be better, but the yield is a little lower than I expected. We haven’t gotten into the corn yet and I expect it to be higher.”

Tillage on the farm is minimal.

“We are almost 100% no-till beans and wheat and then it’s conventional-till or minimum-till for the corn,” Treglia said. “We’re dealing with local ethanol plants and we have several grain elevators within 3 or 4 miles, which makes it very easy to market our crop. We have our own grain facility here where we can hold a small amount until we can decide when we want to or how we want to market that grain.”

For much more from Feeding Farmers this fall, visit ocj.com.

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