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Poppers Plow 60 Acres Near New Paris

by Jerry Goshert

Published: Friday, June 7, 2019

During a wet season, one dry day is priceless.

Early this week, members of the Northern Indiana Johnny Poppers club took advantage of the dry weather to plow 60 acres south of New Paris.

Mike Morehouse, treasurer of the club, said southern Elkhart County missed the thunderstorms that moved across other parts of the county last Saturday. On Monday, the soil was still a little moist, but the club decided to push forward anyway to get it done. Club member Larry Martin said they intended to come back the next day to plant it. Adding to the urgency of the situation, rain was in the forecast for Tuesday evening and Wednesday.

In addition to the 60 acres in New Paris, they also farm other plots that bring the total to 80 acres.

Each year, the club plants the field using machinery that is at least 25 years old, but this year Larry Mock was driving a more modern tractor with a cab and 70 horsepower. He said the club made an exception to the rule so they could get the field planted quickly.

The Johnny Poppers, a group of antique tractor collectors, had assigned April 27 as the original date for their annual plow day. However, continued wet weather forced a postponement of the original plow day, as well as the rain date the following Saturday. On Monday, club members brought 13 tractors—all John Deeres—to the club's dedicated field along U.S. 6 near Elkhart County Gravel.

Getting the crop planted is important for the Johnny Poppers. In the fall, the club harvests the crops and donates the proceeds to local FFA chapters and area food pantries. Last year, they produced 14,000 bushels that generated $10,750 in sales that were donated to local charities.

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