(Posted Wed. Jun 5th, 2013)
Jun. 5: The National Corn Growers Association has launched its third 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.
Today, Field Notes catches up with Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer who also blogs at thefarmerslife.com. Scott gave a brief update on corn progress in Indiana, explaining that, even though planting is complete, there are still many things that must be done to ensure a successful corn crop this year.
“It is still pretty wet out here from the rains that we had last weekend,” he said. “We started side dressing some corn last week and got about a quarter of that done. Then, we got about two inches of rain on the farm land around our house and four inches on our land to the north. While it has delayed side dressing those acres, the rain definitely benefitted the crop as it was needed in that sandy soil.”
Scott, who blogs and uses social media to help explain farming for those who are not involved in agriculture, explained what farmers actually mean when they refer to side dressing a crop.
“Basically, side dressing is putting on anhydrous ammonia, which is nitrogen fertilizer, after the corn crop has emerged,” said Scott. “Side dressing helps us feed the crop when it needs it in a more environmentally friendly manner. There is less of a chance the nitrogen will run off into ground water if you side dress instead of covering all of the ground prior to planting, as is sometimes done either in the fall or in the early spring.”
To listen to the full interview with Scott, 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.