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Eck Farm

Growing and Learning from the Land

Did you know that Indiana farmers produce almost 500 million pounds of popcorn each year?

One such farmer is Chris Eck. After years of growing tomatoes, he now focuses on producing popcorn and seed corn on his family’s Shelby County Eck Farms for Indiana-based Pop Weaver.

“Popcorn is basically a specialized type of corn. It’s grows and matures in the same way other corn crops are grown, but it requires careful harvesting and drying to avoid any mechanical damage,” Chris says.

Because damaged kernels will not pop, Chris takes special care during harvest to retain the quality of each kernel.

Dedicated to best management practices across his farm, Eck also assists agricultural suppliers with on-farm research trials. He is currently allowing one national seed producer to use his farm to test the market worthiness of 100 different corn hybrids.

He cares for the test plot corn plants as if they were his own, prepping the soil and providing the inputs needed to ensure each plant reaches its full potential.

In exchange, he gets a firsthand look into what’s in the company’s pipeline, the data collected from the yield variety trials and the yield potential of tomorrow’s corn hybrids. He also benefits from an on-site weather station.

“We are both interested in the data collected, and we get a little bit of an insider’s view of the varieties that could be on the market soon,” Chris says. “There are a lot of things we can learn from these researchers about corn production. We’ll take some of our lessons learned and adapt them to the crop production on our farm.”

Chris and his wife, Lisa, produce popcorn, field corn, seed corn, non-GMO soybeans and wheat on their Boggstown, Indiana, farm. Chris’ mother, Bobbie Eck, is also involved in the farming operation. Helping out on the farm are their children, Abigail, a student at Purdue University; Allison, a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Andi Jo, a high school sophomore; and Cash, a sixth-grader.

Chris has two decades of farming under his belt as a farm owner, but he’s been farming for much longer. When he was in eighth grade, he rented his first 8 acres to produce his first soybean crop. His success as a young farming entrepreneur his agricultural career path under the tutelage of his father, the late Stephen Eck, and his grandfather, the late Millard Eck, who began raising cattle, hogs and tomatoes after World War II.

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