This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued 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.
Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in north central Iowa. The weather impacted her planting, but she has finally gotten her corn crop into the ground.
“I got all of my intended acres planted, but it just seems to have dragged on this year,” she explained. “I got in early this year on April 11, and then I had a rain delay. Then, I got some more acres planted, but I had to quit because of cold, wet weather. Finally, I got back into the fields and wrapped up corn planting in the very first part of May.”
To continue evolving her farm, she also tried out a new production practice for a part of her corn crop this year.
“This year, I even did about 120 acres of no-till corn,” said Hemmes. “I planted it right into my soybean stubble and, now, it looks really good.”
To find out more, including how and why farmers use no-till practices, click here.
In Kansas, farmer Lowell Neitzel shared many experiences like those Hemmes saw in Iowa despite their geographic distance.
“Everything went according to plan, I guess. We did the best we could,” he said. “Weather did play a factor, and we were a little late on the planting dates in some of our key fields. Overall, we did not have to change our planting intentions.”
While the corn he planted earlier in the season initially caused concern due to its appearance, it seems to be taking off given the improved conditions.
To find out more, 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.
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.