Corn Farmers Coalition

Future of Corn: Despite Challenges, a Bright Picture

Tim Recker (Fayette County, Iowa)

The largest county in the country 150 years ago - stretching to Canada and including the Dakotas - Fayette County, Iowa is now a normal-sized stretch of loamy prairie studded with woods, where Tim Recker farms 1,500 acres of corn.

Like so many farm families in the Midwest, Recker’s grandfather was a farmer; his father was a farmer; and he grew up on the land he farms now after getting an associate degree in animal science. His father, brother and a hired man help operate the place.

“Farming and agriculture,” says Recker, 46, “is a way of life for the Recker families.”

And like many farmers, Recker cuts tilling the soil to a minimum to go easy on the environment, save money and efficiently produce the #2 yellow corn and seed corn he grows for Monsanto.

He also uses a global positioning system to guide the combine along the rows with pinpoint accuracy during planting and harvesting. “This avoids overlaps of chemicals and fertilizer, and reduces seed cost,” he says. “Using this technology can reduce my fuel cost by 5 to 7 percent and also avoids over-application of nutrients.”

After eight years of using GPS technology, he’s saving as much as a fifth on fertilizer, too.

“The future of corn farming is very positive and the future looks bright for two-crop agriculture in general,” says Recker.

But Recker warns that advances in technology aren’t just important on the farm. They’re also essential to creating uses for all the corn America produces.

“The productive capability of the U.S. corn farmer will always make creating more demand for corn and corn products essential.”

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