After the storm

Agriculture.com Staff 10/19/2009 @ 3:30pm

Several weeks ago I was planning to focus this column only on the extensive crop and property damage from multiple summer storms that lashed the Corn Belt, including my own farm. In the meantime, however, I experienced another local and much more positive event that I want to tell you about as well. So the bad will have to share space with the good.

First, the storms. One of them ripped out two trees on my farmyard, damaged a machine shed, and pelted hail on the corn and beans. I await word from the insurance company on the yield adjustment. My losses were minor compared to many other farmers around the Corn Belt this summer. Some of you were hailed out completely as you anticipated what might have been your best crop ever.

On the left is the wind-crunched 63,00-bushel bin of Ron Saak. His operation is several miles from my farm in Grundy County, Iowa.

I hope that all of you who are dealing with crop and property losses harvest some unexpected blessings this fall.

Which brings me to the good part. I experienced such a special and homegrown enjoyment just three weeks after the storm. The Grundy National Bank at Conrad and several partners sponsored a daylong event celebrating locally grown food.

My surprise was in discovering the vendors from the area. Their tables included fruits, vegetables, popcorn, honey, meats, dairy products, wine, and even a microbrew. The baked goods were awesome. I particularly enjoyed the story of Iowa Natural Premium Soy Oil. You can trace each bottle to the farm that grew the soybeans.

It was good to see that producers and new food entrepreneurs are thriving in diverse ways through direct sales and value-added amid the area's dominant corn and bean fields. There are now more opportunities in ag than ever.

Several weeks ago I was planning to focus this column only on the extensive crop and property damage from multiple summer storms that lashed the Corn Belt, including my own farm. In the meantime, however, I experienced another local and much more positive event that I want to tell you about as well. So the bad will have to share space with the good.

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