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May 8, 2015 Farming, Geography, Sailing, York River

Sailing the Plains

 

 

Iowa is home to Big Ag, with some of the largest farms in the country spread over the Great Plains. Mitch and Connie Morrison of Mason City have a daughter who married into a farm family. They explained alternately what her life is like while sailing near Williamsburg on a breezy day. “They farm 10,000 acres, but it’s not all contiguous. Some of the property is 50 miles away. They have one combine and rent another to harvest, running 18 hours a day for a month to gather corn and soybeans. They did a million bushels of corn last year. It has to be stored in bins to air out. Huge propane tanks are used to heat the air in a big dryer to get the moisture content to 10%, or otherwise the corn can mildew and go bad. They have to fill a 30,000-gallon propane tank once a week in drying season. When harvesting, they drive big tractors where you sit a story-and-a-half high. It seems windier now because the windbreaks between farms have been sold off, since farmland is worth $18,000 an acre. My son-in-law said Ag was too hard in college, so he took Marketing instead.”

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