This week, the National Corn Growers Association kicked off its seventh 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.
This week, Field Notes met Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Stopping his planter to chat, he explained that he is taking full advantage of any dry weather to get planting underway despite the damp spring.
“When you first start the planter, even though you know you put it away in perfect condition, nothing seems to go right. We have all of the bugs worked out now though,” said Neitzel. “We have about 500 acres of corn in the ground so far. That means we have about 2,000 more to go.”
Neitzel, who farms about 5,000 acres, plans to split the acreage planted to corn and soy about evenly again this year.
“Some people try to play the trends when it comes to planting decisions, but we tend to stick to our guns and plant half corn and half soy,” he explained. “We just find that, for us, it is easier to do. Also, we don’t put all of our eggs in one basket that way.”
Find out more about his farm by clicking 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.
Photo Caption: A rainbow peeks through the clouds at Neitzel’s farm as planting begins after rain delays.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.