Farmers feeling the springtime planting itch

Planter repair and upgrades, stocking up on parts inventory, and ROI drivers are the focus right now for XtremeAg’s Kelly Garrett, Matt Miles, and Kevin Matthews.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

A fifth-generation farmer, Kelly Garrett farms corn, soybeans, and winter wheat in western Iowa.

We continue to work on planters, installing new closing wheels from Integrated Ag Solutions. We’re moving to more planter-applied nitrogen and fewer anhydrous applications this spring. There’s been an increase in yields with a 2×2×2 system on our planter, and we like the way The Closer systems incorporate the nitrogen into the soil around the seed instead of applying it on top.

We are also installing new True V openers from Prescription Tillage Technology out of Red Oak, Iowa; we think the STP blades will cut through the no-till residue.

Also, we’re replacing the OEM-style parallel arms with parallel arms from Precision Planter Solutions. The cast iron OEM doesn’t stand up to the rigors that the Precision Planting’s Delta force puts it through.  The cast-iron arms bind up and eventually break. The Precision Planter Solutions arms are made of steel instead of cast iron.

I am excited to have sold another 26,030 carbon credits that will pay $40K from Nori and Locus Ag Solutions. I’m getting tired of snow and cold weather and ready for spring. I wish I lived in the land of milk and honey like Matt Miles and Kevin Matthews.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

Matt is a fourth-generation farmer in southeast Arkansas who grows corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.

Each year my daughter-in-law’s grandfather always asks my son, Layne, if we got all of our crops out and if we are now quitting until next spring? That use to be the case, but nowadays, as soon as we get the crop out of the field, it’s time to start prepping for the next year.

We’ve been planning since we finished up the harvest. Through the winter we are researching varieties, studying soil samples, and dissecting our data. We have to figure out if what we did in the previous year gave us a positive ROI. If so, we take the next step of studying. If it was negative, then we move on or retest.

We also started in January bringing in all of our equipment to go through and repair for spring. Most importantly, we inspect our planters as thoroughly as possible. To finish a crop the way you want to, you have to start the crop the way it wants to start – and the first step is the planter.

A semi hauls grain in the dark
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Kevin Matthews - East Bend, North Carolina

Kevin and his wife, Cindy, own and operate Matthews Family Farms of North Carolina, Inc., Precision Nutrient Management, Inc., and Deep Creek Grain, Inc. in East Bend and Yadkinville.

Hauling grain for other growers keeps us busy at a time of year when we look forward to moving some of our own. Our planter parts and service items have arrived. We are busy taking inventory.

Inventory accountability is something we have made a top priority. All lubricants, filters, parts, seeds, and pesticides are inventoried each month along with our grain, lime, and fertilizers.

Trying to repair field damage, top-dress small grain, and spread litter and lime when the land allows is a must this time of year. Our guys got their Auxin training done this week by Zoom. I was impressed by what a good job NCDA (North Carolina Department of Agriculture) and NCSU-Extension (North Carolina State University) have done on this training. It was informative and easy to follow. The guys enjoyed being able to sit in our conference room for the remote training.

We are still working with John Deere on getting the Operations Center compatible with pesticide reporting requirements. Deere understands growers have no option but to comply with EPA record-keeping for all pesticide applications, and hopefully these features will be back up running soon. 

Interesting looking back through all the product testing done on our farm with Many of those results are being posted for our members to view to help them decide if they may find a fit into their operation to improve the bottom line.

Interest rates have us working hard to lock in long-term financing before we get busy in the field. Lots of options out there to choose from… It’s really important to know what your lender needs to move forward to position your operation. If you haven’t talked to them yet, know that these rates are huge opportunities for agriculture.

Xtreme Ag Logo is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit for more information.

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