APRIL 2013


(Posted Fri. Apr 26th, 2013)

Apr. 26: 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 Jennie Schmidt and Jay Beckhusen. While their farms are located in very different parts of the country, both farmers discuss how cool weather has impacted the farms around them.

Schmidt, who farms in Maryland, says that, while planting is on schedule at her farm, many farmers in her area have delayed planting corn due to continually cool temperatures. She notes that this delay may actually prove beneficial, so long as it does not drag on too long.

“You don’t want to have too early emergence and then have a frost where you end up having to go and replant because your crop didn’t tolerate the cold temperatures,” she explained. “We are supposed to have some temperatures in the 30s this weekend, but I do not know if there will be any frost. For the long term outlook, I think that this may be sort of a later year than some farmers are accustomed to, but overall I think that the total delay will only be about a week or two.”

Like Schmidt, Texas farmer Jay Beckhusen also has frost concerns as parts of his crop were burned by frost earlier in the season. While he believes that most of the corn plants will eventually recover, he does note that from Austin south his fellow farmers need timely rains if this year is to be a success.

“Right now, it is cooler than we expect at this time of year in Texas,” he said. “The high today is only about 60 degrees, and the north winds are blowing. We are used to it being about 80 degrees by now, but this is excellent for the crop. It is keeping it cooler and cutting the number of days it will see those hot temperatures. It is to the point where we need a good rainfall to really get the crop going. There is enough moisture right now, but, once the temperatures reach the 90s, we will really need more moisture or the crop will start burning.”

To listen to the full interview with Schmidt, click here.

To listen to the full interview with Beckhusen, 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.