(Posted Fri. Jul 5th, 2013)
July 5: The National Corn Growers Association has launched its third 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.
Today, Field Notes checks in with farmers in Maryland and Texas to find out how about the condition of the corn crop in their respective areas. With the growing season well underway, the crop is progressing well in these very different climates.
For Jennie Schmidt, who farms in Maryland, a few days of sunshine have made all of the difference.
“Now that we have had a few days of sunshine, the corn is going to take up nutrients better, and it will lower the disease pressure,” Schmidt explained. “Like with any plant, corn can have problems with molds and mildews under certain conditions. So, the sunshine and the wind are very important to the health of the crop.”
To listen to the full interview with Schmidt, click here.
Texas farmer Jay Beckhusen’s corn crop will be ready to harvest in a few short weeks. Although the record yields predicted earlier in the season may have been decreased by a string of 100-plus degree days, he remains confident that yields in Texas will solidly surpass averages in 2013.
“We had a heat wave where temperatures hit between 102 and 105 for three days in a row,” explained Beckhusen. “The heat topped the crop off, and the largest bumper crop yield predictions probably won’t be as large as everyone thought. Yields will still be well above average and, given the number of acres planted, the crop in Texas will be large enough our next challenge will be finding a place to store it.”
To listen to the full interview with Beckhusen, click here.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.