Fact Check

Message from the Field

Farmer expresses dissatisfaction with crop prices by carving a message in his grain field.

Published Jun 22, 2005

Claim:   Farmer expresses dissatisfaction with crop prices by carving a message in his grain field.

Status:   True.

Examples:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Message in grain field in N Dakota

Believe it or not....

If you fly a plane this statement is worth a look! The guy who tilled this message in his soil is a Wells County farmer with a message for
everyone! He says that on Dec. 6, 1946, corn was $1.47 per bushel. The day he tilled this in the soil, it was $1.45 per bushel! Go figure!

This field is located in NE 1/4 Sect. 9, 146:90 Speedwell Township, Wells County in North Dakota. The farmer did it with no GPS system or
anything! It almost looks like it is a retouched photo, but it is NOT!

It was taken yesterday, Sunday, April 10, 2005! He plans to seed the field to sunflowers in May, so the message's days are numbered.

Click to enlarge

Origins:   Aficionados of crop circles may continue to debate whether those phenomena are earthly or extraterrestrial in origin, the result of human activity or natural forces, and carry meanings or are purely random, but there's no mystery about the creator, intent, or meaning of the crop field message shown above.

In November 2004, a 46-year-old, third-generation North Dakota farmer named Curtis Wiesz was poring over some of his great uncle's records from 1946, and he discovered that corn sold for $1.45 a bushel that year — the very same price his corn crop had fetched in 2004. Frustrated by this seeming lack of economic progress, Wiesz decided to make a point about it by hopping on his tractor and carving a giant message in his 160-acre harvested barley field.

Wiesz spent about two hours making two passes with a 40-foot-wide tillage tool (i.e., a mechanized plow) to create his message and accomplished the feat without the aid of any Global Positioning System (GPS) device. He initially declined to own up to his handiwork ("People suspected me, but I tried to blame it on those aliens that do the crop circles," he told the Associated Press), but after a crop-spraying friend took him up for an aerial view in April 2005 and he saw how well his efforts had turned out, he finally began to acknowledge his work.

As for his future plans, Wiesz explained:

"Farming," Wiesz says, "is cotton-picking hard, but I really love it really I do."

Wiesz says he doesn't have any plans to etch more messages in the landscape if farming picks up. But if it doesn't, he says he already has another big message in mind: "Send Money."

Last updated:   21 June 2005


  Sources Sources:

    MacPherson, James.   "Farmer Leaves Message in the Field."

    Associated Press.   25 April 2005.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.