Farming Methods among the Amish
In the 19th and first half of the 20th century, millet, mint, rape, brom corn, sorghum, hemp, onions, cabbage, and tomatoes were all popular crops grown surrounding Nappanee, Indiana among the Amish farmers. Ploughing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting were all done by horsepower using equipment and machinery long since passed by among non-Amish farmers.
Many of the ploughs, planters, cultivators, binders, and other horse drawn implements are no longer made; therefore, the Amish are dependent upon each other to keep these rare tools in the hands of its farming community. Parts are dear for needed repairs and bring high prices at Amish auctions. Often the bishop of a district will allow his farmers to hire planting or harvesting out to non-Amish should the weather threaten getting in or getting out the crops.
Each year fewer and fewer Amish farmers still cut their wheat and oats with a binder then stacking the bundles into shocks to dry while awaiting the threshing rig. Most grains are now harvested by combine. As demand rises for corn partly because of government subsidised ethanol production, less grain is grown in the countryside.