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.
Field Notes checked in with Dan Erickson, who farms in Minnesota. Taking a moment to chat as he worked, Erickson reported that his corn crop has benefitted from favorable weather and remains in strong condition.
“Things are looking pretty good in my immediate area. We have corn that is fully tasseled,” he explained. “I have heard about the weather issues in many parts of the country but, in my town, we have been getting rain on and off that has moved crop progress along well.”
Since Field Notes last spoke with Erickson, he applied nitrogen directly before the corn hit the tasseling stage. In the past few days, he also applied fungicides upon seeing some minor signs of leaf disease, such as gray leaf spot or rust.
“It isn’t as if these diseases will take a corn crop down to nothing, but they will decrease yield per acre by about 20 bushels or so if left untreated,” he said. “Really, it is about protecting what you have.”
Erickson explained that some farmers may not take this route, either because of cost or access to proper application equipment, but, in his situation, it makes sense.
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.