Seed World

The Cubs, The Reds or Corn? The Real Star of MLB’s Field of Dreams

Dyersville, Iowa is the birthplace of the wildly famous film, Field of Dreams. The film was shot in 1988, premiering the following year. The movie sparked inspiration in not only fans of baseball, but also two brothers from a longstanding farm family.

The Rahe brothers, natives of Dyersville, began farming on the cornfield where Field of Dreams was filmed in 2009 with DEKALB brand corn. Twelve years later, the MLB decided to bring the film to life in the Rahe brothers cornfield, where the star of the movie Kevin Costner made an appearance.

The New York Yankees took on the Chicago White Sox in the inaugural Field of Dreams game last year, with the White Sox taking home the win with a final score of 9-8.

The Chicago Cubs will face the Cincinnati Reds in this year’s game. Each time will sport new uniforms inspired by vintage and historic uniforms worn in the past.

The Cub’s uniform:

The Red’s uniform:

In honor of the Field of Dreams game tomorrow, here are five homerun stories about corn:

1- Corn’s Wild Relative Comes to the Rescue

Texas A&M AgriLife researchers combined corn breeding and entomology expertise with traits from native and wild plants to tackle various corn production issues in the U.S.

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program will fund the two-year project. The project will focus on addressing current challenges including increased pest resistance, reduced efficacy of Bt technology, exposure to caterpillar pests and preharvest mycotoxin contamination.

2- A Strong Defense Strategy is Crucial for Corn Growers to Manage Pests

Corn rootworm: It’s an annoying pest that pops up across the Midwest and can become a problem for a field quickly. The insect impacts over 31 million acres and costs growers nearly $1 billion each year in lost yield and control measures, according to a news release. But that’s not to say it’s immune to management. 

Syngenta agronomists are urging growers to begin their yield defense strategy now by keeping an eye out for pests including corn rootworm, western bean cutworm and corn earworm. Checking for these pests throughout the growing season allows growers to determine the most effective management strategies for now and the future, Syngenta believes.

3- Is Increasing Corn Production as Easy as One, Two, Three?

With U.S. producers planting fewer corn acres and planting in Illinois and Wisconsin off to a slow start, farmers might be wondering what their next steps should be to ensure an abundant growing season.

Producers surveyed in the United States intend to plant 89.5 million acres of corn this year. This acreage is a staggering 4% decrease, or 3.87 million acres fewer, than 2021, stated the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service 2022 Prospective Plantings report.

In order to increase these yields, Wyffels Agronomy Team and Golden Harvest shared three pieces of advice to provide farmers.

4- Data-Driven Breeding is Saving Corn

Today’s breeders address corn concerns in the face of climate change. 

From drought to flood, and back to drought again the next year, today’s farmers face increasingly extreme swings in weather as a result of global climate change. Seed breeders are tasked with using data in new ways to protect yields.

5- Adapting the Corn Business for a Changing Climate

As abiotic stressors become front of mind for growers, seed companies look at how to help product the corn crop.

While abiotic stresses have forced many farmers to modify how they go about their business, they have also prompted many seed companies to adapt as a result of growing concerns over soil and drought issues.

Read More:

Corn Acres Down in 2022, Soybean Acreage Up

GM Corn Presents No Risk to Non-Target Organisms

Corn Replant Decisions Made Easier with “Corn Replant Calculator”

U.S. Corn Belt on Climate Change’s Path of Destruction