What is in this article?:
- Texas farmer wades into 'feed versus fuel' battle
- Weather challenges
- Explaining how U.S. corn farmers continue to grow a crop abundant enough to meet all growing demands, a Texas farmer has gained attention from industry publications looking to find the truth behind the headlines.
"This year, corn farmers averaged a yield of 147 bushels per acre," he said. "We did that in a year when we faced weather challenges across the entire country. With rain and flooding early in the season, many growers were forced to delay planting. Then, flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers took many acres out of production. Then, scorching heat hit Texas and the South. When it finally moved into the Midwest over the summer, they saw some of the highest temperatures that they ever had. On top of this, Hurricane Irene swept away a portion of the crop along the eastern seaboard toward the end of the season. Even with all of these challenges, we produced a tremendous national average yield of 147 bushels per acre. 2011 really demonstrated how new technologies and practices help U.S. corn farmers meet all demands even in tough years."
When speaking on how much growers can produce and under what circumstances, Spurlock points out that, like most Americans, farmers are also concerned with the environment. Uniquely invested in the land, he explains that this abundant corn crop is being produced using technology to simultaneously improve the industry's sustainability.
"Today, more corn is being grown on fewer acres," Spurlock explained. "This is possible because of advancements in seed technologies, and cutting-edge agronomic software and practices that help farmers determine how and when to apply nutrients most efficiently while maintaining effectiveness. For example, where we used to raise an acre of corn on one pound of nitrogen, we now use only three-quarters of that amount. As farmers, we constantly strive to improve our sustainability and find ways to grow more while using less."
Summarizing his message, Spurlock boiled down the many factors into one simple statement.
"American corn is a strong and viable industry that can and will continue to produce," he said. "With more innovations in the pipeline, this ability will only continue to grow. We can and will meet all demands even as they continue to grow along with us."
For the full interview, click here.