(Posted Fri. May 10th, 2013)
May 10: 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 Andy Jobman, a Nebraska farmer and crop consultant. Jobman noted that the late snow storm that hit Nebraska only a week before many would have begun planting was actually a blessing in disguise.
“A few weeks before planting we had some nice weather, but then Mother Nature switched back to Old Man Winter,”Jobman said. “The precipitation that came with that weather really did improve our soil profile, though. Our moisture levels are probably still a bit below normal, but we are sitting on pretty nice, warm, moist soil right now. A few weeks ago, we thought that we might have to run our center pivots and irrigate the soil to moisten it prior to planting. Now, we will be able to hold off on irrigation to a more normal point in the season so long as the rains continue to come at a regular pace.”
He then explained that, because of modern technology, farmers will be able to make up for any lost planting time.
“In our area, I think that most every should be finishing up with corn planting this week and switching over to planting soybeans,” he said. “The size of our equipment, with so many people running 12, 16 and 20-row planters, allows us to cover ground much more quickly than we used to. Some of the larger farms are even running multiple machines. This ability to plant a large number of acres in such a short time is key in years like this where the optimal planting window is so short.”
To listen to the full interview with Jobman, 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.