(Posted Fri. Sep 13th, 2013)
Sept. 13: The National Corn Growers Association is now in 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 took a look back at his 2013 corn crop with Texas farmer Jay Beckhusen. Already two weeks past completion, harvest brought a series of challenges.
“Harvest was kind of tough this year as we got rain when we were trying to get the crop in,” said Beckhusen. “Normally, we don’t get rain here in July and August. It didn’t impact the crop, but it did slow down the progress. Now, everything is complete, and we are looking at a bit better than average yields.”
Overall, he found that the crop in 2013 had actually suffered more greatly from the early season frost than he had believed at the time.
“We went through the winter extremely dry, and everyone planted a lot of corn acres because of the prices they saw then,” he explained. “It was dry at planting, but the crop got up and started only to get hit by late frosts and freezes. We didn’t realize until we were harvesting how much that frost in April hurt the crop. But, we got some timely rains in May and the first part of June, and the crop really responded and took off growing. Then, we had two weeks of 100 degree plus temperatures that scorched the crop. On a whole, I think we are grateful that we have what we have, because it could have been a complete disaster. Instead, we have a crop that is a little above average.”
To listen to the full interview with Beckhusen, click here.
Stay tuned 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.