Wet weather frustrates farmers

A wet spring with cool temperatures has local farmers waiting to finish planting their corn and soybeans and worrying.

Mike Carroll, manager at Ceres Solutions in Wingate, has spent the last few days touring local farms to gauge the condition of the already planted crops.

He said the attitude of many local producers remains positive despite the weather conditions, but producers are eager to get back to work.

“Most of our farmers are still optimistic but frustrated that they cannot get anything done,” Carroll said. “Everybody is just waiting to get started again.”

Carroll said the last day to plant corn is traditionally between June 5-10. If a farmer has not finished planting corn by then, he will switch to soybeans which has a quicker growth rate.

There are some parts of the nation that are actually worse off then West Central Indiana. Kansas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are further behind, according to a report in the Farm Journal. Those states are behind by nearly 20 percent of their five-year average of total crops planted as of the current week.

Crops can still be planted later in June, but at the risk of reduced yields.

Another major decision for producers is deciding if crops need to be replanted. If a farmer has to re-plant a lot of acres, input costs go up and net income will be significantly reduced. The estimated input cost per acre to replant corn is approximately $135 and soybeans is $70, according to one area farmer.

Producers do have the option to plant different seeds that will germinate quicker. However, this type of seed usually results in lower yields.

Carroll said the latest statistics show Indiana farmers are just slightly behind crops planted compared to this time in the last five years. The cooler temperatures have placed crops already planted behind in maturity compared to the last five years, which also is a problem.

“We have had way too much water with cool weather,” Carroll said. “The crops planted are not as mature as they should be. Looking at them, you can tell they are under stress.”

The impact of the wet planting season on the markets is not able to be determined at this time. Prices have remained consistent.

Montgomery County farmers consistently are ranked among the top producing counties in terms of production in Indiana. In 2016, the county ranked first in corn production and second in soybean production.

The importance of a healthy agricultural economy is important to the county. Agriculture remains the largest industry in the county. Carroll said a poor year in agriculture affects everyone.

“This issue should be important to everyone because it trickles down to all of us,” Carroll said. “When the ag economy suffers, we all suffer.”

Three valedictorians to lead NMHS

Three valedictorians will lead the North Montgomery High School Class of 2017 during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday at the high school.

Elizabeth Budd is the daughter of John and Doris Budd. She has three older siblings, Cassie, Thomas and Hannah, and a younger sister, Marissa.

One of her memorable moments from high school was being on the Interdisciplinary Academic Team and competing at state. Another was being in the marching band and going to the state competition her junior year, and then her senior year the Marching Chargers got to march through the streets at Disney World. 

Budd also was in Pep Band, Spell Bowl and SADD.

She is undecided on her major and college. She plans to go to Purdue University to study veterinary medicine or forensic science. 

She gives thanks to her family. 

“Thank you for always pushing me to do my best and always supporting me,” she said.

Emily Foley is the daughter of Daniel and Angela Foley. She has an older sister, Hannah. Her favorite memories of NMHS are having Mr. Strickler in painting and her and Riley Edie driving him crazy the whole trimester. 

Foley participated in Spell Bowl, English Academic team, National Honor Society, French club and Lab Rats. 

She plans to study pre-pharmacy at an undetermined college to become a pharmacist. 

“Thank you, Mom and Dad, for making me who I am,” she said. “Thanks for all of the encouragement to choose something to do with my life, and for pushing me to succeed all throughout my education and life in general. Thanks for all the times that you have just had to sit and listen to me talk about anything and everything that has happened to me as I kind of get consumed in telling stories of what has happened during the day.”

Korey Pierce is the son of Alan Pierce and Suzanne Spicer. He has a twin sister, Breanna Pierce.

He participated in soccer, PEERS, English Academic team, Math Academic team, youth group and was a member of National Honor Society. 

He will always remember beating Southmont in penalties in the first round of sectionals. 

Pierce plans to receive an accounting degree from either Southern Indiana University or Indiana State University. 

“Thank you guys for all of your help and support,” he said. “I appreciate all of your love and guidance you have given me.”

Board keeps exemplary status

This isn’t the first time Crawfordsville Community School Corp.’s board has been recognized for keeping up with the latest changes in public education policy.

But it’s not every year the board is alone achieving top status in ongoing training.

Crawfordsville was the only school board in the state this year to attain exemplary status from the Indiana State Boards Association. This is the 10th year the board’s received the designation.

To achieve it, each board member must regularly attend association-sponsored conferences and other professional development events. 

“It’s a high honor and one that the board values very much being recognized by the Indiana School Board Association for that level of service,” board president Steve McLaughlin said.

The association keeps members updated on laws and other policies impacting schools. Staying on top of the changes is especially important in today’s political and educational climate, said Mike Adamson, director of board services.

“It’s helping them to do the job they’ve been elected to do, to represent their constituents in public education,” he said.

McLaughlin and other board members recently attended a regional meeting in Lafayette, where the association outlined upcoming changes to school funding formulas.

Beginning in 2019, local school districts will have more power to spend money without restrictions on transfers. The general fund will be replaced with an education fund and an operations fund.

McLaughlin has also been watching the state’s policy toward charter schools, which critics say can take money away from their public counterparts.

“Whatever these new rules we’re going to have to abide by are, we’re just going to have to roll with it,” he said. “It’s not a local matter.”

In maintaining the exemplary status, continuity helps. 

Ellen Ball and Susan Albrecht also have several years of experience on the board.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling said he appreciates the board’s emphasis on professional development.

Members are handling a $25 million budget for one of the largest employers in the county. 

“And yet they’re doing this as lay people,” Bowling said.

City cleans up more yards

Crawfordsville Code Enforcement Officer Barry Lewis is busy trying to keep properties within city code. 

At Wednesday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Lewis received permission to have more properties cleaned up if land owners do not do the work themselves.

Six more properties were on Lewis’ list. One property at 515 S. Water St. owned by Thomas Dickerson will be mowed by street department personnel right away. 

The other property owners have until Saturday to clean up their yards.

Property at 506 Binford St. owned by Tom Mitchell as well as 112 W. Jefferson St. owned by Armco Investments LLC both need mowed. 

Three properties — 303 N. Oak St. owned by Sam Dreyer; 1010 E. Main St. owned by Scientific Games International LLC and 2013 Traction Road owned by Larry Lawrence — need mowing and have debris and trash to be removed.

Street department workers will do the yard work at a cost of $150 per mowing. 

To clean up the yard of debris, property owners are charged actual man and equipment hours.

If property owners do not pay the money due to the city, a lien is placed on the property in the amount due plus filing fees.

The board approved to pay the first invoice from Bowen Engineering for the waste water project. 

The invoice, in the amount of $1,300,500, represents work completed before April 2017. The funds will come out of State Revolving Fund Loan the city secured in 2016 to pay for the major water project. 

The work includes an upgrade to the city’s waste water plant and for work along North Green Street.

CSX received permission to close railroad crossings June 12-13 on Main Street and Elmore Street. 

Detours using Market Street and Wabash Avenue will be used. 

In other business, the board: 

• Approved the purchase of fitness equipment for Fire Station #2 in the amount of $40,485 from Bob Block Fitness.

• Approved a request from the Crawfordsville Fire Department to declare a 2004 Ford Taurus as surplus and donate it to the street department.

• Approved a request to declare as surplus various office equipment from the Clerk Treasurer’s office.

• Approved a Keystone budget software upgrade in the amount of $9,250.

Signing Off on C.R. 200S

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton signs paperwork Tuesday to complete the purchase of land near Walmart, clearing the way to complete the extension of C.R. 200S. The new road will connect U.S. 231 with State Road 47S.