Catching Up With BASF Great Grower Kip Tom

Cindy Zimmerman

The last time we chatted with BASF Great Grower Kip Tom of Indiana he was with his son Kyle at the BASF Agricultural Solutions Media Summit. When we caught up with him this time, he was with his adorable grandson Kamden at the Farm Progress Show.

We talked with Kip about the impact of the drought this summer on Tom Farms in Leesburg, Indiana. “In my 39 years of practicing this occupation, I can very easily say this is the most challenging year we’ve ever faced in regards to dryness and high temperatures,” Kip said. “We’ve got fields that have 200 bushel APHs (actual production history yield) that are going to be done in the 20-30 bushel range.”

Kip says some farmers may have backed away from using fungicides when the dry weather continued so long, but he had a different viewpoint. “We looked at the results of prior years in other areas that were having yield challenges and we moved forward and applied fungicides to our corn and soybean acres because we’ve seen that it did add yield even under a stress year.”

With a smaller crop expected this year in the United States this year, Kip says other countries will be positioned to benefit from the shortfall. “I just came back from Argentina and Uruguay and I can tell you that producers down there are making investments to make sure they can maximize yields,” he said. “They’ve never seen these kind of returns.”

Kip urges other growers to look forward to 2013 with confidence. “Let’s get past this year, let’s focus on next year, let’s make sure we put the right amount of nutrients out there to maximize yields next year, and let’s not sit here and cry woe is me – let’s put our chin up, pick out the right crops to grow next year and maximize those returns.”

Listen to my interview with Kip here: Kip Tom interview

Audio, BASF, Farming