Mother Nature vs. harvest progress

XtremeAg farmers Matt Miles, Kelly Garrett, and Kevin Matthews share their crops’ progress in Arkansas, Iowa, and North Carolina. XtremeAg is real farmers collaborating and sharing experiences with others in an honest and unbiased environment.

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.

Wow, what a week last week! Hurricane Laura didn’t do us any favors, but at least we are all safe.

Laura came in with 50-mph winds and stronger, which knocked down several acres of rice and corn. The beans and cotton look like a back-lashed bass reel! The hurricane damage is recoverable, but since the hurricane departed, several fronts have come through bringing significant rain. This has pushed back harvest by more than a week. We’ve got a lot of acres of corn and rice ready to pick, but conditions are not allowing us to get in the field.

We will start desiccating cotton and beans next week. There is a favorable forecast for the next 15 days, so things are looking up in the Delta once we can get back to harvest.

This isn’t our first rodeo with a major hurricane. So as normal, we will adapt and gather and thank God for what we get! Stay safe and good luck with your harvest.

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.

It’s been dry. Real dry. Since 1893, only eight years have been drier than this year and area farmers are feeling it. Need more proof? The first crop of harvested soybeans was delivered to an elevator last week.  

We’ve stopped irrigation for soybeans in preparation for harvest, but it’s still going strong on our corn.

The corn that was blown around from the derecho event looks good. Hail from the storm caused defoliation that we believe took the top-end yield off. We walked the field last week and found that the soybeans we thought were going to be the best crop we’ve ever had have dropped over 30 pods per plant due to the storm.

Our management practices are showing: Corn is remaining green and not drying. The corn acres under the Netafim SDI by NutraDrip will be 80 to 100 bpa better than the dryland. We have installed Stalk Devastators from Yetter on the corn headers and are excited to see how it helps speed up breaking down of the stalk residue.

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.

Harvest is about to begin in full force this week. Last week was spent checking the corn doing moisture checks. It was at 31% on Thursday putting us four days out from harvest. Harvest is a week late compared with a normal year. We plan to start desiccating earlier planted soybeans this week.

The last of the corn fungicide was sprayed last week. Disease has set in heavy with our heavy amounts of rain. But the crop is looking great. Our fungicide program is being put to the test this season. The BASF fungicide program for corn has proven to provide the best protection for us this year with our heavy disease pressure.

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