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Pennsylvania: Renting a Truck for Harvest; “New Kind of Appraiser” – DTN

Debra Ferguson
By Richard Oswald DTN Special Correspondent June 1, 2016

Pennsylvania: Renting a Truck for Harvest; “New Kind of Appraiser” – DTN

Outside Newport, Pennsylvania, View From the Cab farmer Jim Hoover told DTN late Sunday, “It was a good week.”

The crops are in. Jim and his family were able to get quite a bit done between rain showers, including moving planting equipment home from their Tower City farm. Like his counterpart in Illinois, Jim baled hay. “We baled 128, 8-foot big bales of timothy/brome that weighed about 800 pounds apiece,” he said.

In addition to hay, once small grain is harvested, the Hoovers bale straw from their wheat and triticale crops. Big square bales have replaced other forms of bales on the Hoover farm because of their ease of bulk handling and plenty of nearby storage for bales as they come off the field. One neighbor, a friend of Jim’s, has begun growing triticale and baling the straw. “I got him started on triticale, and he has just fallen in love with the product.” He’s also been converted to Jim’s way of thinking on straw handling. “He told me ‘I’m gonna square bale everything and I’m gonna wait for Mason (Jim’s grandson) to do it.’ Mason does a real good job. We have a nice New Holland square baler that does a really nice job. The straw business has been pretty good to us. It’s like a lot things when you do a good job.”

Jim said he started putting up straw when his turkey business demanded it for litter. Pine shavings soon replaced straw there. That’s when he started selling straw to a nearby business that made straw mats for reseeding construction areas and roadsides.

With row crops planted and hay put up, it was time to spray both wheat and triticale seed crops for head scab with the fungicide Prosaro. “I’ve done this for over 40 years, but it never took me so long because it’s never taken so long to flower. Nobody knows why. If you put Prosaro on too soon (before flowering) it doesn’t work,” Jim said. Slow blooming doesn’t necessarily mean small plants. Jim told DTN his triticale is about chest high. “I can tell you now all my crew knows about triticale flowering,” he added.

Herbicide Resistance Info


First planted corn is 10 to 12 inches tall, and in some cases as tall as 16 inches. Slowly emerged soybeans at 3 to 4 inches tall are looking better, but in a strange twist, following a wet, cold spring, “it would be nice to have a shower on them.”

When a farmer needs a truck, he’s needs it right now. But when a farmer doesn’t need an extra truck, it just sits. That’s Jim’s problem. He needs a truck now, but later on he won’t. The answer is renting a truck. Now rental rates have risen. “We have three tractor trailers. Two Petes and a KW. We need a fourth. It’s always this time of year with wheat and triticale — two for grain and two for straw,” Jim explained. “We’ve been renting a truck. Jim’s son, Craig, said we need to consider buying another truck. Do you spend $5,000 or $25,000? We’re looking at a couple of 2000 to 2002s but I think we’ll end up leasing one.”

Something else every farmer needs is a banker. That situation is changing too. It’s getting more complicated.

“My bank has started a new deal that I have to have everything appraised on the farm every four years. Now they take pictures of everything. The representative from the bank is “a new kind of appraiser, (who) said that when he’s appraising the farm, if he has an excellent manager managing the farm, he will reduce the value of my assets because of that,” Jim said.

Richard Oswald can be reached at Talk@dtn.com

Follow Richard Oswald on Twitter @RRoswald

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Debra Ferguson
By Richard Oswald DTN Special Correspondent June 1, 2016