Strong markets drive decision making

XtremeAg’s Kevin Matthews, Matt Miles, and Kelly Garrett are putting the finishing touches on winter business and putting the planters in the shop for maintenance and upgrades for 2021 planting season.

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.

We’ve been busy applying layer litter and pulling soil samples during this brief dry period. Rain is on the way, but hopefully, it will be light so we can get the small grain top dressed with nitrogen with one of the split applications.

Zoom has kept me busy with meetings, including production, banking, markets, and most of all, networking in a new way. Texas A&M’s TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers) has been one of the better zoom meetings we’ve participated in, and we will also be getting our pesticide credits this year by Zoom. Who would have ever thought?

This week we are sitting down with John Deere to discuss ways of making their "My Operations Center" benefit our operation better. This is a very important time to ensure 2021 doesn’t have some of the same issues we experienced in 2020.

We are still reviewing the performance of some of the XtremeAg partner products we tested. So many products stood out for us as delivering a real ROI to our farming operation. We are really happy with the ROI that products like 360 Yield Center’s 8R tanks, Nachurs Finish Line, AgroLiquids Micro500, BASF fungicides, and the Estes XPR2 Concaves delivered this year. Still have many others to share data with our XtremeAg.farm members. Stay safe.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

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

It has been several years since I have been this excited about farming. The markets, even though they are very volatile, have given me a new perspective. Being in a state of positive cash flow is not only exciting but will give us even more chances to try new things to enhance our yields in 2021.

We’ve made some positive structural changes to some of the key roles and responsibilities in our operation that we feel will increase our efficiency and ROI in 2021. Although continuing education this winter has been more difficult, we did have a chance to get with several other operators this past week and share key knowledge.

We hit a personal best in corn and cotton yield this year and are anxious to see if we can replicate that to push those yields even higher. No two years are ever the same, but hopefully, we can find some of our new practices work with consistency.

One thing I would advise is to always be looking for ways to improve ROI. Always be trying new things that might fit into your operation, but remember, every farming operation is different, and what works for others may be different for you. Good luck.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

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

We are evaluating our crop insurance to determine the best options with the potential for high spring prices. Most likely we will insure all our corn acres at the highest rate possible. We are also meeting with vendors to finalize our final fertilizer and fungicide orders.

All of our planters are in the shop undergoing preseason maintenance, checks, and necessary upgrades. We are currently in the process of installing our new closing wheels and nutrient delivery system from Integrated Ag Solutions.

Corn is being hauled while the basis is very strong and, as the weather permits, plant food is being applied.

I continue to get a lot of calls and emails asking questions about the carbon markets and my work with LocusAg. Always happy to help other farmers work through the process.

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XtremeAg.farm 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 XtremeAg.farm for more information.

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