Farm Safety During the 2016 Harvest

Farm Safety During the 2016 Harvest

As we approach the 2016 corn and soybean harvest here in Benton County, it’s a great time for everyone driving the county roads to take a moment and reflect on farm safety. More farm accidents occur during the fall than any other time of the year and it’s everyone’s responsibility for safety.

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Bright & Reflective SMV Signs & Flashers should be easily visible on equipment such as this planter.

Slow Moving Vehicles

One big danger during harvest are the slow moving vehicle on county roads. As farmers move equipment from field to field or haul grain on highways and rural roads, be on the lookout for flashing lights and bright slow moving vehicle signs. As a public service announcement, pay extra attention when driving on rural roads during harvest season, especially before and after work or school. Farm vehicles are large and move much slower than cars, the best advice is to slow down, pay attention and stay off cell phones while driving.

Here are a few tips for our farming friends & the general public to help make harvest is a safe one:

  • Sunsets & sunrises can be blinding during the morning or evening commute in the fall. Please, pay attention and slow down at road crossings & intersections.
  • Farmers, please make sure that Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs are clearly visible on all off-road vehicles. Make sure SMV signs are in good condition and properly mounted.
  • Use proper vehicle lighting & make sure your headlights and brake lights are functioning.
  • Tractors & combines should use flashers at all times while on public roads. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) recommends two flashing amber lights, mounted at least 42 inches high, in both the front and rear.
  • Turn on your headlights 30 minutes before sunset, until 30 minutes after sunrise. Also use headlights whenever insufficient light or unfavorable weather conditions exist. If your vehicle has automatic headlamps, check to make sure the switch is in the correct position.
  • When trailering or pulling wagons, inspect hitches to ensure they are sturdy and properly mounted before towing or heading down the road. If equipped, use the safety chains.
  • Be patient & share the road.

Benton County Sheriff Don Munson adds, “We need to remember that our local farmers are out there trying to do their job as safely as possible. Farm equipment is oversized and that means we need to exercise over-caution. Pay attention to your surroundings and be please patient.”


Women Farmland Owners Discussion

Free Conservation Discussion & Field Tour for Women Farmland Owners in Tippecanoe county & Surrounding Indiana County area

July 27th, 2016 and open discussion and field tour is available to any women farm and land owners at the Lilly Nature Center, located at 1620 Lindberg Road, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906.

“We estimate that women now own or co-own between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland in the Midwest and they are very interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land,” said Jennifer Filipiak, associate Midwest director for the American Farmland Trust. “Our goal is to connect these women with each other and with the resource professionals who can help them with their farmland management goals.”

Women Caring for the LandSM meetings bring together landowners in an informal learning format for a women-only morning discussion followed by a more in-depth look at the characteristics of healthy soil and farming practices that promote it. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources.  A participant from last year’s learning circle commented that is it “wonderful to hear experts who were women sharing their information and passion.”

Following lunch, area conservationists will lead a bus tour to view conservation practices on the ground. Discussion will focus on soil health and cover crops, but will also include water quality, wildlife management and government cost-share programs.  The Women Caring for the LandSM format was developed by the Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in Iowa. “We continually hear from women how grateful they are for a women-only learning environment,” commented Bridget Holcomb, executive director of the WFAN, “and they tell us that they are able to discuss issues that they wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in any other setting.”

On July 27, coffee and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting will start at 9.  Lunch is provided, and the program will end with refreshments at 3 p.m.

RSVP by 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 22 to Chris Remley, Tippecanoe County Soil & Water Conservation District at (765) 474-9992, extension 3 or chris.remley@in.nacdnet.netIf you need accommodation please notify us when you RSVP.  And feel free to bring a female friend or family member, just let us know when you RSVP!

This session of Women Caring for the LandSM is sponsored by the Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District in collaboration with Women4theLand and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Staff from the SWCD, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other conservationists will be on hand to answer your questions.

More information can be found at the Women Caring for the Land website here:

Article Provided by Tippecanoe County FSA Office & the USDA

Tippecanoe County FSA Office

1812 Troxel DR, STE C2
Lafayette, IN 47909

Phone: 765-474-9992
Fax: 855-374-4071

County Executive Director:
Stacy Helbert

Farm Loan Manager:
Eric Peterson

Program Technicians:
Alyssa Holt
Holly Humphrey
Holly Walters

County Committee:
Debra Kerkhove
Michael Peabody
David Swank

An Interview with Max Armstrong

Talking shop with the ‘Voice of American Agriculture’

Max Armstrong and his Farmall H Tractor. “Interviewing Max was a real honor,” said Johnny Klemme. “He gave me some great advice as an agriculture professional and on life in general.”

Situated at the dead-end of a dirt road in North Carolina, his two Jack Russell terriers by his side and a view of his horse farm, Max Armstrong, spoke with me over the phone in his distinguished radio voice, “I’ve got to live out my childhood dream for the last 40 years.”

As a boy, growing up on the farm in Southern Indiana, the nationally-known host of ‘This Week in Agribusiness’ and the ‘WGN Radio Saturday Morning Show’ dreamed of reporting on the events, news and issues important to the Agriculture community. Now, some forty years later, he generously shared with me his good fortune, hard work, as well as the challenges and opportunities he believes we are facing in agriculture today.

“I am optimistic about the future of Agriculture,” said Armstrong, “I encourage producers, farm families, and everyone living in a rural community to promote the increasingly important role that agriculture plays in the state of Indiana.”

What excites you most about Agriculture today?

“Everyone talks about technology, and I am excited about the capabilities of producers to analyze fields with UAV’s, making better decisions with farm data, and their ability to address problems faster and more efficiently. Just as exciting is the generational shift to tomorrow’s farmer.  Years of sustained profitability have helped farming families’ position the next generation to be successful – because it’s not easy being a new or young farmer!”

Max went on to commend younger producers for their willingness to embrace technology and maintain the values instilled in them from their parents and grandparents.  “Tomorrow’s farming operation enters a time of greater competition, but with the right tools and work ethic, there is room to be successful.”

What are the major obstacles or challenges we face in Agriculture?

“More than ever, farmers, business leaders and members of the rural community should be engaged in the political process. Whether we like it or not, the Ag community voice needs to be heard. By the time you get to Washington D.C. there are precious few representing the Ag community, but at the local and state level, there is a lot of opportunity.”

Armstrong commented that spreading the message of Agriculture can easily become part of our daily routine. “Every time you see your local officials, whether at the coffee shop or annual parade, shake their hand, and remind them about the importance of the Ag constituency.”

What advice would you give to todays and tomorrow’s farmer?

“We all recognize that it’s a competitive market. But I hope and pray that we keep the ‘family to family’ and ‘neighbor helping neighbor’ philosophy alive. Building relationships is the key to success in more than just farming; you never know when the person you just met could be sitting across the table from you, in a position to help you.”

On many occasions during our conversation, we circled back to this philosophy on life. Max reminded me several times, “Take care of the people around you and you will be successful; both on the farm and off the farm.”

What advice would you give young people today?

“You get a lot of wisdom out of the classroom, but the best classroom in the world is on the knee of your grandparents and parents. Sit with your parents, and listen to what they have to say. Mom and Dad may not be a whiz with their iPad or smartphone, but their life experience is worth more than you may realize.”

We covered a lot of ground in our conversation, from the hard work it takes to be successful in Agribusiness, not being afraid to get your boots dirty, and we even shared quite a few laughs about his iconic mustache and a our mutual interest in antique tractors.  The conversation continually circled back to Max’s philosophy and belief that we can all relate to; whatever your path in life, put in the hard work, resolve to help your neighbors, and you always get back what you put into something.

… And for those that may be wondering, Armstrong has only shaved his iconic mustache one time since graduating from Purdue in 1975. “The one time I did shave it, my wife and daughter were quick to tell me that I needed to start growing it back immediately,” said Armstrong with a laugh.


Where to See & Hear “The Voice of American Agriculture”

WGN Radio, co-host of the “Saturday Morning Show”


“The Tractor Shed” | A show dedicated to the history & restoration of antique tractors

Download “Max Armstrong’s Tractor App” for free on your tablet or smartphone


“This Week in Agribusiness” on the RFD Channel, DirecTV or DISH Network & local stations

About the Author

An Interview with Max Armstrong Johnny Klemme Geswein Farms for sale

Husband, Father, Author, Land Broker & Advisor

The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author, Purdue Graduate and Farmland Broker Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at

SOLD! 50 Acres Woods, Pasture & Tillable in Tippecanoe County


Wooded land full of wildlife!


1/4 mile long bluff with Walnut grove!


Pasture and approx. 15 acres tillable farmland in Tippecanoe County, Indiana!


Lots of active buyers, plenty of backup offers on this highly desirable wooded property for sale in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Congratulations to the winning buyer, sold at $310,000 or $6,200 per acre for wooded land and pasture.

When is a good time to sell farmland?

Farmland owners and family farm trustees or heirs ask us this question all the time, “When should I sell the farm?” The answer depends on your circumstances, your needs and your goals. Just as every farm is different, whether an investment or family farm so is the method of sale and the reasons for sale. All said, here is why it’s a good time to list and sell a farm with us today:

  • Record High Prices & Land Sales

    We remain in a period of record high land sales and prices. Farmland value has appreciated significantly over the last 10 years and prices today are considerably higher than they were then. What would you do with these profits?

  • Access to Capital

    Whether you need to put dollars into other investments or would like capital to expand other areas of your farm operation such as tile systems and drainage, equipment and implements or grain storage – we remain in a period of record high land prices compared to 10 years ago.

  • Estate Planning

    Transitional time periods in our lives lead many people down the road of estate planning. Whether it’s a will, trust or estate, everyone should be concerned with proper planning. If you are in estate planning mode, selling the farm land is part of the equation. Creating a plan today is one of the finest compliments you can give to your family.

  • Retirement Expenses

    From taxes and health-care to other important ‘golden years’-issues, the sale of farmland in today’s market can provide the financial freedom to remove stress and worry from these expenses. What else could you enjoy during retirement with this capital?

  • Plenty of Buyers / Strong Demand

    Today’s market includes a wide range of buyers in a great cash position. From the neighboring farm operations to our network of land investors, we are selling farms as soon as we have them listed for sale – netting you the highest returns possible in today’s farm real estate market. Backup offers are quite common in this market as ready, willing and able buyers compete for a chance to buy farmland.

What else could you be doing with your money? The answer to this question helps determine the route forward. Whether you plan to travel, retire or invest in other areas of interest – we believe that your needs, goals and objectives always come first. Whether your concerns are financial, legal or otherwise, selling the farm in today’s real estate market is a choice that starts with a conversation.

For more information Call or Text 765-427-1619

About the AuthorJohnny Klemme Farm Land Broker, Helping investors with buyer's representation  When is a good time to sell farmland? Johnny Klemme Land Broker Farm Real Estate Indiana

Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue University & Professional Land Broker specializing in farm ground in West Central Indiana. Skilled at farmland marketing to local, regional and national buyers, Johnny helps families, heirs and trustees sell farms in Indiana.

Commited to helping you achieve the highest returns





cash lease, flex lease, 50-50 leases

5 Tips to Rent or Lease More Farm Ground

Negotiating a farm lease can be easier than you might think. Whether you are looking to expand with a cash lease, 50-50, 2/3 – 1/3 or prefer a flex lease, there are several important factors that will help you grow your farm operation. Ultimately, you want to build a great landlord / tenant relationship that is fair, equitable and results in long term success for you both.

  • Communication = Trust

    No matter if you are a landlord or tenant of a farm in Indiana, one of the best ways to negotiate a mutually beneficial lease and long term success in farming is regular communication. Address concerns when they happen, learn what the landowner values in a tenant and in the health or productivity of their soils and you’re putting together a recipe for great returns to both parties.

  • Values & Goals

    If a landowner values good agronomics, no-till or cover crops, it’s best to address these needs up front. If you can help improve soil quality during the term of a lease or cash rent agreement, this is a great way to negotiate longer terms that are mutually beneficial. Think Win-Win, no matter who your landlord is or what they believe is most important to their land assets.

  • References & Resumes

    With more and more absentee landowners in Indiana, having a great resume and set of references can mean the difference in your bottom line. Take the time to prepare a resume that includes your experience, education/degrees, how you approach soil health & fertility and what makes you a sound choice as a tenant and producer. It’s been said that the devil is in the details.

  • Land is Your Greatest Asset

    For both the landowner and the tenant, it’s vital to think long-term about productivity, soil health and nutrients. Best practices = great profits for both parties. Take a look at the most successful farmers & producers in your area and think about why they are leasing more ground. Are they using variable rate technology? Do they practices good crop rotation? How have they improve the soil? Your answers to these questions can help you build a great landlord/tenant relationship that results in higher profits for both parties.

  • What’s the Going Rent Rate?

    Avoid the coffee shop talk. The ground you own or lease has its own unique characteristics in both soil type, history and current or planned investments. Just because a farm in the same county gets $500 / acre does not mean your farmland is worth the same. Factor in the size, shape, ease of use & ability to get large equipment there, travel time, location, point rows, drainage, commodity prices, input costs….just to name a few!

No matter what type of lease you prefer, from cash rent leases to more complex flexible leases, sharecropping or 50/50, it’s really about understanding landowner and tenant needs and goals. If you aren’t able to meet each other’s expectations, then chances are the relationship may suffer and the lease will expire. On the other hand, if you have share common values , you’re most likely on the right track to helping each other be successful and profitable this year and many more. 

In today’s farm and land leases it is becoming more common to include provisions for the ownership of farm data. Landlords should take this into consideration to get a better handle on the productivity and fertility of their land. Long term, it is always best to improve soil health as many leases include provisions for “flex bonus payments” when bumper crops or prices are favorable.

About the Author

Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue University and Land Broker specializing in farms, recreational property and development land in West Central Indiana. Born and raised on a local farm, his commentary on issues that are important to the farming and real estate community can be found at