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KNUTSON: A reminder of why some farmers don’t raise corn

Corn is a cornerstone of much of Agweek country. For farmers in corn country, growing the crop is an natural as breathing. They've raised it for generations, and it's a safe bet their children and grandchildren will, too.

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Couleur, pixabay.com

Corn is a cornerstone of much of Agweek country. For farmers in corn country, growing the crop is an natural as breathing. They’ve raised it for generations, and it’s a safe bet their children and grandchildren will, too.

But corn is a relative newcomer to the northern reaches of the Upper Midwest. New varieties allow the crop to be grown where it once was too risky. Many farmers in those areas now raise the crop - sometimes on a small scale, sometimes in a big way.

There are holdouts, however. I still talk with farmers who don’t have corn and don’t plan to start with it. Part of their rationale is the cost of the additional equipment needed to harvest, dry and store corn. But some of the holdouts also tell me that “corn is too much hassle, especially in wet falls.” Corn is the last of the region’s major crops to be harvested, and the corn harvest can stretch into December when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Corn harvest is in full swing across much of the Upper Midwest. But many farmers without corn have finished harvest, or nearly so. For them, harvest stress is over, or nearly so.

Every situation is different, of course, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer of whether a particlar farmer should or shouldn’t raise corn. But we can safely say this: farmers who don’t have it - and have wrapped up harvest - are glad to be finished.

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Related Topics: CORNCROPS
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