GREENSBURG — Taking advantage of one of the few days this spring dry enough for planting corn, the second annual Farmers Feeding the Flock fundraiser recently took flight.

In a 28-acre field provided by John and Adele Corya, a 24-row Kinze planter pulled by a New Holland tractor made short work of what will be one of the most talked about cornfields in Decatur County this year.

Farmers Feeding the Flock Chairman Merrill Smith rode along as the field was planted.

“I was just amazed!” he told the Daily News. “Crop farming today is very high tech and way beyond what we non-farmers can comprehend. For example, the planter had its own generator on it because the planting process is all done by electric metering. Vacuum fans extract the seed from two large compartments into plates that are rotating. As the plates rotate, they drop seeds into the ground. There are many sensors on the planter that tell the operator in the tractor if all is working properly. It is very sophisticated.”

The Kinze system, estimated as a $500,000 piece of machinery, planted 24 rows at a time, spreading 34,000 seeds per acre, all at a precise 2 and half inch depth.

“We are most fortunate the owner of the tractor and planter took time to do this field, especially when he isn’t halfway through planting his own fields,” Smith said.

Late planting due to the rainy spring is of great concern to nearly all Hoosier farmers. With the added days of April and May lost due to outrageous amounts of unexpected rain, Farmers Feeding the Flock donors and organizers are worried about a very late crop.

“It will likely be a late harvest, and the corn will probably come out of the field with a high moisture content,” Smith explained. “That raises the cost of the LP used to dry it, so it’s just not good all the way around.”

The owner of the Kinze tractor and planter (who asked to remain anonymous) said this year’s conditions are the “worst he has witnessed in 25 years of farming.”

According to Smith, the Farmers Feeding the Flock fundraiser has three objectives: to make money for Greensburg’s Bread of Life soup kitchen, to educate the public about crop farming, and to promote agriculture.

“Because agriculture is really our bread of life,’” Smith said.

Single acres of soybeans in the 2018 fundraiser were offered for sponsorship at slightly more than $300. This year’s corn fundraiser is being offered to sponsors at $365 an acre, and checks should be payable to the Bread of Life: P.O. Box 42, Greensburg.

All donations are gratefully accepted.

Questions should be directed to the Decatur County Greensburg Bread of Life at 812-663-1055.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111 ext. 7011 or email at