Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Golf Course turned into Corn Field

True Statement

The 2010 corn field beside
the Boy's house
During the last year I have learned a lot about corn. The Boy is from Iowa, and although cattle are his passion his family also plants a lot of corn. And I find it fascinating. One of the biggest lessons about corn I have learned is that corn has the opportunity to make you a lot of money. 

In this case, so much money that Kelly Tilges is tearing up the Whitemore Golf Club, Algona, Iowa, to plant corn.

I have heard a lot of farmers talk this year about planting over roads, closer to ditches, taking our fence line to make more room – every acre counts. But tearing up a golf course, maybe that is going a little too far.

I can't wait for summer days like this.
According to the Des Moines Register a doubling in the price of corn since mid-2010 has caused Iowa farmland to rise 25% in price, now averaging $5,700 an acre. Iowa is also expected to plant about 500,000 more acres of corn this year compared to 2010.

That’s if they can ever get it in the ground. Iowa farmers are getting a touch impatient. Typically, seeders would be going a full blast right now, but cold weather, and too much rain have delayed planting.

I know that it is going to take a lot of acres to grow enough food to feed the world, but I know how much golf courses can mean to small community. In the town I grew up in of 300 people there are two 9-hole golf courses, and last summer I enjoyed playing with the Boy at their course. 

I understand that we might not have all the facts here. It seems like in any journalism stories these days that only one side of the issue is presented. The golf course maybe wasn't a money making business, and this gentlemen knows how to get a few more dollars out of it. Regardless, those bright emerald greens and fairways are now going to be field of gold. 


  1. I'm on the side of the farmer on this one - good rittens to that golf course and hello again to tillable acres. The majority of golf courses in this area (including the one less than 2 miles from our farm) were once fertile emerald green corn and soybean fields - but because thanks to unorganized urban sprawl and tax abatements the land that feeds this country worked by a few is being eaten up to entertain corporate America!
    This is my "soapbox" issue - everyone is entitled to an opinion this is just mine. We have lost hundreds of acres over the years to business' that came in, got tax ababtements, built and now we are starring at empty buildings sitting in the middle of acerage that should be in production. And in our county alone we have 13 golf courses!
    I know that not all community's are
    the same, and your Boy's community may very well need a golf courses contribution to community - all area's are different so when I read "Golf course turned into corn field" it definatly made me smile!

  2. Good luck with your corn this year!
    I think bio-diesel and such has a lot to do with prices, right?

    I have to say, it makes me sad when I see farm land bought for anything other than farming, so yay for the corn winning out. :)

  3. I agree with you ladies. It is a real shame when valuable farmland is ripped up for cement to be "grown." I guess the difference I see in this situation is that the golf course has been around since 1969.

    Luckily, this isn't the golf course in the Boy's town, so when we aren't working on calves or he isn't in the field we can get a round in.

  4. It is becoming more and more common to see farming to the door step. My parents have 2 different neighbors that have taken down buildings and leveled the ground to pick up more acres.

    Granted, one of the neighbors demolished an old abandoned farmstead. The second guy used to operate a small hog farm. He has not had enough hogs to make a living for several years.

    In the big picture it is not a bad thing to clean up unused old buildings. But, it is sad to know that both of these farmsteads used to be the home to families making a living in agriculture.


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