(Posted Fri. Aug 16th, 2013)

Aug. 16:  The National Corn Growers Association is now in 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 Indiana farmer Brian Scott and Maryland farmer Jennie Schmidt to see if crop condition and yield reports released this week match up with what they see in their fields. In both cases, these farmers agree with forecasts indicating a bountiful crop in good condition this fall.


Scott notes that, despite a long stretch of days in the mid-70s, the corn he sees near his farm, which lies north of Indianapolis reflects USDA crop condition reports. In the most recently released, the report forecasts 29 percent of the Indiana crop to be in excellent condition and 48 percent to be in good.


“We may have planted late, but we have had timely rains,” Scott explained. “It’s never been really hot. In fact, it has been cool enough that I am wearing a jacket this August morning. Everything looks really good. Pollination went well, and it doesn’t seem we had any stress on the crop at that critical time. From what I can see, the corn looks great everywhere.”


To listen to the full interview with Scott and find out about his test field for the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest, click here.


Schmidt also sees a strong corn crop when looking at her fields, with conditions similar to the national average of 18 percent in excellent condition and 46 percent in good. Notably, as the USDA only lists the forecast for the 18 states producing the most corn, it does not provide information specific to Maryland.


Additionally, she believes that yields on her farm may well surpass the national average, currently forecast to be 154.4 bushels per acre, so long as she is able to harvest before a hurricane besets the Mid Atlantic coast.


“The crop looks to be in great condition in proportions in line with the national average crop condition,” said Schmidt. “I think that we are going to have a high yield this year. Our county average yield is in the 150 to 160 bushels per acre range. We typically average about 180 bushels per acre of corn in a typical year on our own farm. I expect that to be the case for us. It could well by higher.”


To listen to the full interview with Schmidt and find out what she sees when looking at the acreage planted to corn in Maryland this year, 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.