Northern Ind. projected to have best corn crop in the US
ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- Northern Indiana is projected to have the best corn crop in the entire country this year. Farmers say the weather has been nearly perfect. Right now crop dusters are busy spraying cornfields to keep bugs and fungi from destroying the crops.
"The last three weeks we've been working 20 hour days from daylight to dark depending on the weather. Course that's the big variable," said Dave Eby, President of Agriflite Services.
For the 13 pilots at Agriflite in Wakarusa, it's crunch time.
"There's a certain period of time when you need to apply the products, the fungicides to the growing crop, the corn and soybeans, there's a narrow window so you can get the best yield," said Eby.
Right now, they are in the narrow window for corn. To maximize their efficiency, the crew is using technology to track their work.
"We can see the actual field he's spraying right now, so we know where he's at, we know what he's doing and we can track our pilots that way," said Eby.
The pilots can also follow their own progress through a handy GPS system in their plane. A yellow area indicates where they've already sprayed and a gray area indicates what needs to be covered.
It helps make sure the pilots don't overspray or miss a plot.
"We're not polluting the environment like everybody thinks we are, dumping tons of stuff on there. Most of our applications are in the 6-10 oz range plus water," said Eby.
Those chemicals are nothing more than what you'd use at home to get rid of fungus or bugs.
"It's the same active ingredient. Plants respond the same way humans do," said Eby.
Right now the pilots are working in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana spraying cornfields. Next they will be spraying soybean fields.