APRIL 3 OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELD COLUMN — compiled by PETE TEMPLE, SPORTS/AG EDITOR
• The USDA March Prospective plantings report showed an increase to 97.3 million acres in corn to be planted in the U.S. for 2013, the highest acreage in corn since 1936.
Following a drought-ridden year in Iowa, corn farmers are holding steady with intentions for the 2013 crop year, according to a press release from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.
“My farm is sticking with a 50-50 rotation of corn and soybeans,” said Kevin Rempp, ICPB board chairman and a farmer from Montezuma, Iowa. “We have been doing that rotation as long as I can remember.
“This report serves as an early yardstick to what might be available for market opportunities or challenges.”
In Iowa, the report showed that farmers intend to plant 14.2 million acres, with no change from 2012. In actual practice, the May 15 plantings report from the USDA more closely correlates with the final acres planted.
“Mother Nature is the biggest predictor on what gets planted,” Rempp said. “As we head into planting and leave this long winter thaw, the real wild card will still be moisture.”
• Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area will honor organization partners for their work in preserving and sharing America’s agricultural story at the Golden Silo Awards Luncheon Wednesday, April 3, noon-1:30 p.m. at Black’s Building Sky Room, 501 Sycamore St. (eighth floor) in Waterloo.
Scott Cawelti of Landscape Iowa will offer a feature performance, singing the poems of James Hearst.
• In other Silos & Smokestacks news, a law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on March 26 reinstates federal funding for the organization.
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act effectively extends the sunset date for Silos & Smokestacks and 11 other national heritage areas from Sept. 30, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013.
“These vital funds will allow Silos & Smokestacks to continue important programs dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s agricultural story with milions of people each year,” the organization’s press release stated.