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Field Day to Focus on Farmer's Open-Pollinated Corn
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/13/2017

Organic crop and livestock farmer Stan Smith of 20975 Echo Ridge Dr, Lewiston, will host a field day on his farm on Oct 6 from 1-3 p.m. The event will look at a field demonstration of six different open-pollinated corn varieties. The farm is located seven miles south of Lewiston, and the public is invited to attend.

Smith is interested in open-pollinated corn because of the potential for higher nutritional value as livestock feed. He applied for and received a USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant to explore a number of key questions.

Smith says, "I was curious to look at the feasibility of growing open-pollinated corn, in part because higher protein, phosphorous and calcium levels contained in open-pollinated corn would be an important benefit for livestock producers."

He adds "The economics are another factor. Open-pollinated corn seed costs about one-third that of the more "modern" corn varieties. Plus, as the seed industry gets taken over more and more by chemical companies, I wonder if they're really looking out for the farmer's best interests."

Smith compares the purpose of his research on corn with the quest for a healthier tomato. "Do we pick the nutritional value of an heirloom tomato or that of a tomato that's been bred to be picked by a machine?"

For more information about this event, contact Stan Smith at 507-523-2874 or by e-mail at sssorganicfarm@yahoo.com

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