Farmers count down to crop maturity and harvest

Farmers Matt Miles, Kevin Matthews, and Kelly Garrett of Xtreme Ag report on their crops’ progress as harvest approaches in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Iowa, respectively. Xtreme Ag is led by six producers across the country who’ve come together to share what they’ve learned with other farmers.

A week ago, USDA’s Crop Progress Report indicated 72% of U.S. corn was in good to excellent condition. Soybeans were 73% good to excellent last Monday.

Over the last week, temperatures reached the mid- to upper 80s in most Iowa counties, while low to mid-90s were recorded in Arkansas. In North Carolina, last week’s temperatures ranged from the mid-80s to mid-90s.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

Farmer Matt Miles of Xtreme Ag
Photo credit: Xtreme Ag
Matt Miles is a 4th generation farmer in southeast Arkansas who grows corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.

Cob samples are running in the low 20s and we will begin harvest this week. Our early corn looks fair but kernel depth is good, so we may be surprised with a good yield. The corn after emergence stayed so wet it had to hurt its younger life some.

Cotton is 3 NAWF and we are keeping plant bugs and worms at bay. Cotton looks promising but maybe not quite what last year’s cotton crop was.

Early beans are at R6. We will make our first application for insects this week. All the beans in our area look excellent but are extremely tall. Hoping they stand through harvest.

Rice is heading and looks very promising if we can get good harvest weather to keep it standing. Will start draining our floods off next week. Very little insect pressure so far.

We are extremely dry. Irrigating all crops but heat this week has not been extreme. Forecast for 95°F.-plus temperatures going into the end of week.

Hopefully with good weather, we can get this crop matured and get it in the barn!

Kevin Matthews - East Bend, North Carolina

Farmer Kevin Matthews of Xtreme Ag
Photo credit: Xtreme Ag
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.

Hurricane Isaias brought a welcome widespread rain to North Carolina this past week. Fortunately, we did not experience any flooding or high winds to flatten crops in our area, however, other areas of us have experienced blown crops and flooding. We are blessed the storm was not as bad as it could have been.

The corn and soybeans are looking great. We are waiting on the ground to dry more before applying fungicide. Spending a lot of time scouting soybeans and corn; we really have to watch for cercospora stem blight in soybeans this time of year.

While waiting on the weather to allow us back in the field our time has been spent in the office. Updating inventories on the farm and in the field. Planning for harvest that is just around the corner. Then beginning to plan next year’s crop rotation. It is busy times in the office.

Corn harvest will begin next week in some areas of the state. By the end of the month nearly the whole state will ramp up harvest.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

Farmer Kelly Garrett of Xtreme Ag
Photo credit: Xtreme Ag
A 5th generation farmer, Kelly Garrett farms corn, soybeans, and winter wheat in western Iowa.

Corn is a little bit ahead on GDU’s vs. the last few years. Temperatures were in the low 50s several mornings last week. The corn is looking great. We are excited especially for our irrigated, highly managed corn acres. The irrigated corn appears to have great potential which led us to hit it again with fungicide to have further protection.

An issue we face yearly is cornstalk decomposition. TerraMax has been working with us to find a biological that works with plant food to decompose cornstalks. It is a challenge as we’ve increased our corn yields to plant soybeans the following year through the stalks. This is especially difficult on irrigated ground with the yields climbing. Ideally, we would be 100% no-till but it is going to take having the stalk decompose for us to move effectively in this direction. TerraMax believes they have found a biological that can survive while remaining effective in the plant food. It will be exciting to see the final results that will be shared with our members.

The soybean foliar test plot mentioned two weeks ago is continuing to show promise. Soybeans look great so we will see how it translates to yield. We had some soybeans sprayed for insects three times as well as waterhemp.

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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