CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Neighbors in the Falmouth and Fairview communities came together Monday to help one of their own.
Sixteen combines and too many trucks to count came together at several locations in that area to harvest Bobby Kehl's crops.
Kehl died following an accident in July, with 1,000 acres of crops in the field. Son Adam and nephew Ryan Kehl help with the farm operation, but other circumstances have prevented the harvest from moving to completion.
Adam Kehl said he spent time in the hospital recently when he should have been in the fields, which is when the neighbors came together to plan to help harvest about 400 acres of soybeans and 200 acres of corn.
He worked in a soybean field while his neighbors and friends worked in other fields.
Ashley Carmony said the effort came about because everyone knows everyone.
"I called a few and Dale (Thomas at Falmouth Farm Supply) called a few and people began calling us," he said. "We knew it needed to be done because of the weather coming."
"It's been a rough time," Adam said. "My Uncle David died a few years ago and then Dad died this summer. I want to give all these guys credit for helping."
Winds from Hurricane Sandy that blew in could have left the crop flat, Ryan said.
During summer, he said a small business selling tires and supplies on the demolition derby circuit takes him away from the farm, so it's all Adam at home.
"My dad and uncle were well-liked in the community and were involved in the community," he said. "We've helped in other harvests for neighbors."
David had been chief of the Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department, investigated fires and at one time had been a sheriff's deputy. Bob had farmed in the community for many years.
At a farm just across the road into Rush County, four combines were making quick work of a large corn field. Ryan said it takes three days to harvest it with one combine. That farm has been in the family since 1845.
Dean Morgan made some adjustment to his International combine.
He said Mark Bills had his Gleaner combine, Scott Ripberger in a John Deere and David Osborn in John Deere with a 12-row head were making quick work of the field. Brett Morgan and Mark Osborn ran grain carts. Lowell Humphrey and Ripberger provided semi-trucks in addition to a tri-axle truck from his farm.
"I've known them for a long time," he said. "Adam and Ryan are like sons to me and I was close with their dads. Ryan used to babysit my kids. This is close community. Everyone just started calling and we came together."
Morgan said the corn is yielding about half of normal and soybeans are about 10 bushels an acre less than normal.
Kirk Trebley waited to take his grain cart to his brother Jim in a combine at a farm south of Fairview while brother Sam waited to take truck to the elevator.
"Oh yeah, we've done this before, because this is a tight-knit community," Kirk said. "We have our fields done but had some fields to do for others to harvest but we stopped to do this. We help each other."
At the farm where David Kehl had lived just south of Falmouth, John Dolan and Kimber Ging operated combines.
Glen Dolan waited in a pickup.
"We're done with our harvest but we got the equipment out to help," he said. "We'll have to clean it up again, but they're our friends and I've known the Kehls for 50 years."
Information from: Connersville News-Examiner, http://www.newsexaminer.com