Another of the BASF Great Growers we will be following during the 2012 season is Kip Tom of Tom Farms, a multi-generation, family owned operation in northern Indiana. Tom Farms traces its roots to 1837 and today has nearly 18,000 acres of seed corn, corn and soybeans in seven Indiana counties and another 4,000 acres of seed production in Argentina.
Noting that no two years are alike when it comes to farming, Kip says 2011 was definitely a “unique year” but they still did well. “One thing we’ve learned about this business is we treat it as manufacturing and we have a ‘pick list’ that if something is occurring in our weather that requires a change, we know how to adapt,” Kip said. “Yields were surprisingly better than we thought they would be.”
A wet fall kept them from getting some fall tillage done, which put some pressure on them to get work done this spring but they are off to a “fabulous” start. “We’re about 45% planted on commercial corn acres and about 15% planted on soybeans,” Kip says, which is ahead of schedule.
To deal with weed pressure, Kip says they use winter annual herbicides to control weeds like henbit, dandelion and chickweed. “We apply a herbicide on during the fall and early winter. Then we come in with a pre-emerge grass herbicide on our corn acres and follow up with Roundup,” he said.
However, Kip says they are getting concerned about the resistant weeds and he thinks BASF is being very pro-active in that area. “I applaud BASF and the other companies that have been working hard on new formulations that will allow us to stop resistance yet make sure that we’re good stewards with our neighbors,” he said, particularly noting the work being done on lower volatility Dicamba formulations.
Listen to or download my interview with Kip here and watch for more Great Grower interviews coming up. BASF Great Grower Kip Tom
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