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Field Notes

NCGA kicks off the tenth season of Field Notes in a new blog format. Check back for quick looks into what real farmers see in terms of crop progress and gain insight into how the crop of 2020 is doing from firsthand sources.

May 18, 2020

North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“As of May 14, we haven’t turned a wheel to plant 2020 crop. We did harvest somewhat but had to quit because of the road conditions. We had more showers last night, but we are hoping to get one field planted early this week. That is only 15 percent of what we planned to plant in corn. After that, I have no idea where I am going to go.”   - Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer   “In terms of corn planting, it is so far, so good for us. We hope to be done by Memorial Day. This year, we are decreasing the corn acres planted from last year because, given current conditions, it’s harder to make work from an economic standpoint.”   -Jim Raben, Illinois farmer

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May 11, 2020

Missouri and Kansas Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“We finished planting corn and only have 800 or so acres of soybeans left to plant. Joshlin, my husband, has been working long hours trying to beat the rain on Wednesday. That said, the weather has been okay. We’re in the Goldilocks zone. The corn looks like it is doing well. When we started in early April, we just kept going because it wasn’t too wet. So, even though it was cold, we got ahead of things.”   -Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer   “We are still planting corn, but we are almost done. 300 more acres, and we will move onto soy. We’re supposed to get two or three inches of rain this week, and the morning temperatures have been in the mid30s. What we planted in early April is doing well despite the cold. I almost wish we had kept going, but we had snow flurries and cold rain then. We made the best decision we could at the time. It’s all you can do.” -Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer

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May 4, 2020

Nebraska and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“We’ve had really good weather for planting actually. We haven’t had any rain delays. It is far nicer than last year with bomb cyclones. we are starting to get dry in areas. As guys are wrapping up planting in a week to ten days, we’ll be hoping for rain. There are a few center pivots are already running.” -Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer     “I finished planting on Saturday like almost everyone in northern Iowa. It is the earliest I can remember finishing for a long time. I am worried about how the crop will handle the stress as the next few weeks are supposed to be cooler than normal. While conditions are dry, we are getting by this far on subsoil moisture from last year.” -April Hemmes, Iowa farmer    

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Apr 27, 2020

Field Notes Minnesota and Ohio

Key Issues:Production

  “Things are busy. We are getting everything ready to go, and I hope to get the planter rolling today. We have seen a lot of people planting in the area and are excited to get in the field.” - Bryan Biegler, Minnesota           “There’s nothing planted here yet, but we are heading in that direction. We are hoping to get started next week. So far, it’s been cold and wet enough to keep us out of the fields. It looks like we’ll have nice warm weather in May though that will let us get planting.” – Patty Mann, Ohio    

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Apr 20, 2020

Missouri and North Dakota Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “We started planting the first week in April, before the cold snap. So far, we have had good luck. Things have run smoothly without many breakdowns so far. Today, we’re working hard in the fields.” – Addie Yoder, Missouri   “Personally, we have the majority of our corn left to harvest from last year. Looking at it, we will have our first 70-degree day tomorrow. Best case scenario - we are a week to two away from corn planting. Seven to ten days from now, planting activity will hopefully startup, but 15 to 20 percent of last year’s corn crop is still standing. Farmers will have to prioritize planting this year’s corn or harvesting that left from last year.” – Randy Melvin, North Dakota    

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Apr 13, 2020

Field Notes: Firsthand Insight from America’s Corn Farmers

Key Issues:Production

Last week, Field Notes reached out to farmers to find out how planting is progressing on their farmers. This week, NCGA kicks off the tenth season in an exciting new blog format. Check back for quick looks into what real farmers see in terms of crop progress and gain insight into how the crop of 2020 is doing from firsthand sources.   Lowell Neitzel – Lawrence, Kansas   “The good thing is that I have started planting a few acres but not too many given the changing weather conditions. Those acres might be okay. They might not. We’ll see, but we had to get started some time. There’s a lot of corn to plant and, as long as we could get some in the ground and shut the planters off, it made sense to take a chance.”   Jim Raben – Ridgway, Illinois   “We have planted the last few weeks of March or first few of April in the past. It needs to dry out. The river is still high, and the ground is too wet to really work.”

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