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Harvest is underway in North Carolina, Iowa, and Arkansas

Harvest is in full force for XtremeAg farmers Kevin Matthews, Kelly Garrett, and Matt Miles. It is the time of year we learn whether the products, equipment, and procedures of the past year are worth the effort. We look forward to sharing this with our XtremeAg members.

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.

As corn harvest hits full stride, we recently upgraded our S680 with the new Estes XPR 2 concaves and have been able to increase our productivity by boosting our running speed by 1.25 mph without any loss. After three years of below-average yields, we like the numbers we see this year so far. Sally decided to drop 2 inches of rain right when we got started, so we used the break to review some small grain crop insurance options and verify our soft red winter wheat varieties for fall seeding.

As the weather cooperates, we will harvest our Netafim subsurface drip-irrigated Pioneer corn plots this week and look at which varieties and fertility programs performed best.

We desiccated our soybeans this year, something we have rarely done before, and it has allowed us to begin bean harvest last Sunday. We are happy with the quality and yield so far. We get many questions about the desiccation process from our XtremeAg members and look forward to sharing the results of our trials later this fall.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

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

Corn and soybean harvest started last week with the first field of 105-day planted on April 20. Moisture was around 25%, with the dry field average running between 220 to 225. Soybeans harvested were a 1.7 maturity. They were in the 67-bushels-per-acre range with moisture from 11.5% to 13.5%. We feel that the beans lost 5 to 10 bpa due to hot and dry August weather taking the top end off. The soybeans had about 90 pods per plant early on, but after the August heat, we found some beans aborted in the pod.

As a no-till operation, one of the challenges we have is getting our early beans to come up through the thick layer of residue left behind from the previous year’s corn crop. We are hoping that we may have solved that issue by installing Yetter Stalk Devastators on our combines. So far, we see a real difference in the stover left behind, and I believe the cornstalks will break down much faster as a result.

We are excited to get into our foliar trial beans and see the difference in yields. We ran five different foliar trials this year on our beans using different products and rates of application. There appear to be some apparent yield differences. We will share the results on later this fall.

The subsurface drip system installed by Nutradrip has had tremendous ROI this year as the soybeans on the SDI system look to have about a 30 bpa yield increase, and corn will have about a 100-bushel-per-acre yield increase compared with our dryland crops.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

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

Hurricane Laura came and went, and we are still trying to pick up all the downed rice that she left in her wake. The good news is that the yields look good but picking it up off the ground with the combine is a prolonged and painful process.

We have seen some good harvest weather in the past week, and we are currently cutting rice, beans, picking cotton, and digging out our first ever peanut crop.

Yields are holding up very well on what we have harvested despite the wet spring and hurricane. Our long-range forecast looks promising, and our harvest machines are running fast and furious.

The recent upturn in markets has made farming fun again! Good luck to everyone this harvest. Stay safe and God bless!

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