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Conversations in a combine

Conversations in a combine

District Rep. Hurst takes first combine ride in Floyd County

To the Press

This summer Floyd County Farm Bureau was a co-sponsor of a Party in the Park in Charles City. During this event Floyd County Farm Bureau Board Members had a sign up for anyone in the community to ride in a combine with a local farmer. With a total of 28 community members wanting to partake in the event, eight farmers from the county volunteered their help in giving rides.

Victoria Hurst, District Representative for Congressman Steve King, was one of the 28 who wanted her first ride in a combine. Hurst spent over an hour riding with Wayne Koehler and talking with Jay Matthews, both board members for Floyd County Farm Bureau. Questions and topics discussed were: “What do you do with the corn you harvest?, ”How is the corn yielding this year?” “How do you decide what to plant?” That led to some questions about marketing the grain and the future markets.

As they rode in the combine and visited, she noticed the display monitors in the cab which generated several questions. Koehler explained that as they were harvesting, the combine was capturing and recording the harvest data. Then he explained how they would analyze and use that data to make many different decisions.

Off in the horizon from the field they were in, was the Valero ethanol plant and the huge pile of corn on the ground there. Koehler used that as an opportunity to have a conversation about the importance of the renewable fuels standard. He expressed his thanks to Rep. King for being such a strong supporter on the issue. He then took the opportunity to discuss other policy issues with Hurst.

As the visit was coming to an end, Koehler asked Hurst if she would like to drive the combine herself as they were harvesting. She acted surprised at the offer maybe being concerned about unloading into the grain cart while driving. Wayne said the combine will drive and steer on its own. She declined the offer but thanked him for asking. Matthews, an agronomist for AgVantage FS discussed with Hurst how they manage the fertility on Koehler’s farm and how they use technology to only place nutrients where they need to be. Koehler and Matthews also talked about how farmers are adapting their nutrient management voluntarily taking into consideration the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

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