(Posted Thu. Jan 3rd, 2013)
The National Corn Growers Association concludes the second season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.
Field Notes caught up with Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer also blogs about agriculture and tweets as @thefarmerslife. Through the year, he updated listeners on his corn and soybean farm, providing insight into changing perspectives on the 2012 crop, sharing his insight into a wide array of topics presented on his blog and discussing the importance of starting conversations about agriculture with the 98.5 percent of Americans removed from the farm.
Looking back on 2012, Scott, like many others, thinks immediately of the drought that impacted corn farmers across the Heartland and dashed what had been high hopes for a record year.
“The biggest challenge in 2012 was the drought, which hurt yields quite a bit, but there was little that anyone could really do about it,” he said.
Scott addresses the successes he saw in 2012 in a more light-hearted manner, noting that he attributes some of their marketing success more to luck that prowess.
“When it comes to successes, I am thankful that we did not sign contracts prior to the growing season on which we wouldn’t have been able to deliver,” he explained. “Prices may have eased off of their highest points, but we have been able to make the best of a bad situation.”
He noted that, overall, the year stands out for the rapidly diminishing expectations for the crop that had once held such promise.
“In a way, the drought really started before a lot of people were aware of it,” Scott said. “We didn’t have rain just prior to planting or even right after it, but the conditions looked so good. We thought that when it did finally rain the crop is going to be fantastic. After that though, it shot up to over a hundred degrees, and it didn’t rain for nearly eight weeks. Excitement surrounding the anticipation of a record crop quickly faded into the realization that corn crops were suffering under the hot, dry conditions.”
To listen to the audio interview, click here.
Check the NCGA website archives for the full series of end-of-year interviews with the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.