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Farmer = Optimist

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM by Iowa Corn

Water left standing, after record rainfall
With all the talk about North Central Iowa flooding the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to visit the area and see for myself the flood damage. First, I met with our very own Iowa Corn Grower Member, Dean Sponheim, to learn more about what that part of the state was and is still facing. I interviewed Dean on June 6th, unfortunately, still a cloudy and rainy day. It had been almost 3 weeks since the first round of rain had gone through and Dean joked about the many “rounds” of rain he has gone through; so many he had lost count. In his home county, Mitchell, water was no question, the topic of choice in May and June. The amount of rain varied everywhere you go, but in all farmers have way too much water to be in the field. For the rain amount in May, 15-20+ inches were recorded, which included rain and SNOW!

Waterway in Mitchell County
Dean’s farming operation is all strip tillage. For the past 5 years, he has been running his own strip tillage business. Even with the soil being saturated from excessive water, Dean believes that his strip tilling was doing better than most other forms of tillage in the area. When I stopped to visit, Dean had 80% of his corn planted and 10% of his beans planted. Preventive planting was brought up as an idea for the remaining acres.  But, his farm is not the only concern, Dean is also a seed dealer for DuPont Pioneer and he has been contacting farmers in the area to discuss what the next plan of action for planting will be.

I asked him what he wanted the rest of Iowa to know about his area and the flooding this year and he stated; “I am the eternal optimist; we will still be farming next year.”

Dean Sponheim is the Mitchell County Corn and Soybean Association President. Dean and his wife Cindy live northeast of Mason City on the farm that Dean grew up on. Both of their children are married- Josh and Lindsey Sponheim and Chris and Erin Bremer with two grandsons that they love to spend time with – Evan and Graham. Dean has volunteered with the Osage FFA Chapter for the past 27 years and is involved with his local church.

Kate Sennert is the Communications Intern for Iowa Corn. She will be a senior at Iowa State University in the fall in Agriculture Communications. She will be working on social media, blogging, newsletter articles, attending booth/trade shows, and is doing a comprehensive state-wide farmer interview series this summer. She grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa where her dad raised hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans.

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