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As harvest ’21 is nearly done, uncertainty looms for 2022

XtremeAg farmers Matt Miles, Kelly Garrett, and Kevin Matthews see positive yield and ROI due to intensive crop management programs, but concerns are already mounting about the coming year.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

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

In two days, all our cotton will be off to the gin! This will be the first year I can remember having my whole crop out before October 15. Of all my years farming, this will go down as one of the strangest ones for sure. From plants acting downright stupid all-year, to beating our five-year averages on all grains, to market prices getting back to profitable levels, to dealing with COVID, and now input costs soaring to all-time highs. It makes a guy just stop and think about what 2022 is going to look like? We are going to have to do some serious planning and put a lot of thought into next year’s rotations simply because of the input costs alone. Most farmers have experienced higher commodity and input prices, but the logistics nightmare and availability issues that we are facing is putting gas on the fire. I don’t envy any farmer for the challenges they will face from now until next planting season. We may all need to buy a punching bag so we can take out our frustrations in a safe manner! Good luck to all of those working 100-plus-hour weeks and please be safe, because we are never guaranteed a tomorrow.

Cotton in Arkansas at sunset almost ready for harvest
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

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

We finished up our soybean harvest and we are about halfway through our corn right now. Our yields are exceptional, despite the dry weather we experienced this season. This has been the type of year when you can really see the benefits of all the foliar feeding applications we did. It takes moisture to translocate nutrients through the plants. We worked closely with the experts this season and hit almost every window at the right time. You can certainly see the results as we roll over each field in the combine.

Three combines harvest corn and unload on the go in Iowa in October 2021
Photo credit: XtremeAg

In a year where we had a very high-stress environment to contend with, we really see the difference from the foliar applications we did with Nachurs as well as the PGRs applied from AgXplore, Hefty Naturals, and Teva. We also used a few stress mitigation products from Hefty Naturals and Agricen that really helped the crop get through those tougher times. We should see a nice yield bump in these fields as a result, and most importantly a positive yield bump. 

We are really excited about the results of a trial we did with FMC’s Xyway in our 2×2 application. It showed a very big yield bump, and we were pretty surprised to see such a difference between the trial plot and the control strip. I’ll be putting out a video talking about the results on this week. 

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.

The weather has cooperated this harvest up to this point, and we pray it continues. Yields are running above average for the first time in four years, which really helps the balance sheet. Although next year’s high input prices will certainly chip away at the extra profit we make this year. 

John Deere tractor pulling a grain cart following a John Deere combine in a mature corn field at harvest in North Carolina
Photo credit: XtremeAg

North Carolina is expecting to harvest a record corn crop this year as the rains have been timely and we’ve managed to dodge the bad hurricanes. Storage will be an issue as a result. In our area the poultry market is huge and demand for corn is enormous. As a result, our local feed mills can slow trains up to make room for a large crop. This past week the guys at our Tyson Roaring River location have been unloading truck corn late at night and even helped the farmers out by unloading on Saturday as well. Many thanks to Scott and Matt for helping keep those combines running!

The small grain is now planted, and cover crops are going in. Soybean harvest for us is well over half done, and hopefully in the first week of November all our crops will be in the bin. How nice that would be compared with last year’s harvest that went into December.

I am excited about being able to compile all our plots and trials to share with our members soon and then meeting with everyone face to face at the Commodity Classic in March. All great learning opportunities!

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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