Wet week with harvest on the horizon
XtremeAg farmers Chad Henderson, Lee Lubbers, and Dan Luepkes share their crops progress in Alabama, Illinois, and South Dakota. All of the XtremeAg producers are sharing their knowledge and key learnings this year through the XtremeAg.farm website. The team wishes everyone a safe and plentiful harvest.
Chad Henderson - Madison, Alabama
A fifth-generation farmer, Chad farms over 8,000 acres with his dad, son, and nephew as a part of Henderson Farms in northern Alabama. Chad grows corn, soybeans, and wheat in what had been mostly a dryland environment until 2012 when he added the first irrigation systems to Henderson Farms.
We are about one-third through corn harvest and everything looks really good so far, but we’ve got our eye on Tropical Storm Sally as it comes up from the Gulf. Some models are projecting as much as 5-plus inches of rain in north Alabama, so we are running real hard right now, and will be through the night to get as much corn combined before the storm dumps on us. It’s been a challenging weather season as we started the year very wet, then got really dry, and now it looks like we are ending the season very wet.
We have been analyzing yield data from wheat harvest earlier this year to determine which varieties performed best in certain areas. As soon as we get through this corn we will pull soil samples, match up varieties according to yield and soil types, and then plant our next wheat crop right behind the corn.
Lee Lubbers - Gregory, South Dakota
Lee and his brother began farming in the 1980s during some of the toughest times for farming, but the lessons they learned still shape them today.
We went from pushing 100°F. last week to 50°F. this week. We’ve been lucky enough to receive about .75 inch of rain in the last few days as our row crops can still benefit from it right now before we start combining. The cooler temperatures and the precipitation will help us on our soybean size. We are very impressed with how well the corn is doing considering the challenging weather this season.
Silage cutting has been going on heavy for past two weeks in our area. I’ve heard of some high-moisture corn starting to be combined at 35%, and I know of others waiting for it to get down into that moisture range.
We are tweaking and tuning equipment to make sure we are ready for the fall push. We will bring in our wheat starter fertilizer blend next week and fill bulk bins so we’re ready to seed our winter wheat crop.
Dan Luepkes - Oregon, Illinois
A fifth-generation Illinois farmer, Dan was raised on a small 200-acre dairy farm. After the family got out of milking cows, he picked up a few small farms and continued to grow, eventually saving enough money to buy challenging, low-productivity, sandy farms that no one else wanted.
After one of the driest Augusts on record for northern Illinois, the storms came in with the month of September. We are at 6 inches of rain with 2 more inches forecasted, but unfortunately it is too late to help the corn and soybeans in our area.
We have switched into high gear as we prepare grain bins, harvest equipment, and trucks to get this crop out of the field. The lighter ground soybeans will be ready with a few days of dry weather. We tried a lot of new products and methods this season for XtremeAg, and we are excited to see how the yields turn out.
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