(Posted Fri. Aug 15th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth 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 caught up with Texas farmer Jay Beckhusen, who farms an hour outside of Austin. Already more than a week into harvest, Beckhusen gives first look at what the 2014 corn crop looks like in his fields.


“Yields have been varying from 100 to 150 bushels per acre. I understand that some places near here are hitting 170 to 180 bushels per acre,” said Beckhusen. “These are very good yields for us.”


While the yields are excellent, he does note one issue facing Texas farmers this year.


“There is not enough storage for everyone,” he said. “It is such a large crop. We haven’t had such a large crop in several years. The grain elevators are filling up rapidly. Three elevators to the south of me have stopped accepting corn. Unless you have a contract, you cannot get in there at the present time.”


Another difficulty confronting Texas corn producers, one shared throughout the country, is price.


“If you are curious, local elevators in my area are paying anywhere from $3.10 to $3.25 per bushel,” he said. “It is a good thing that we are seeing the yields we are, because it is almost a breakeven crop.”


To listen to the full interview with Beckhusen, including his perspective on the storage shortage and price challenges facing farmers, 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.