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 caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in northern Iowa.
Like many farmers, she is waiting for drier, sunnier weather.
“The neighbors who are always in the field first, they are in the field. We drove 90 miles into Des Moines, and we saw some of the people we know are always out first in their fields,” said Hemmes. “Many of us are getting a slower start. I just started tooling around with my planter today.”
Hemmes also finds herself answering one question repeatedly, “what do you plan to plant in 2017?”
“I wish I had a dime for every time that I have been asked that this year,” she explained. “I made my planting decisions back in November, and I have stuck to them. It is what works for my ground and my rotation. I am not switching the percentage of acres that I plant into corn and soy.”
Find out more about her planting intentions 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.
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.