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Harvest begins in Arkansas

Matt Miles started combining his early planted soybeans and corn last week, while Kelly Garrett and Kevin Matthews are happy with what they see in their late season crops.


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

We finished up our last fungicide pass last week on our corn crop. In addition to fungicide, we also added a PGR (plant growth regulator) that is designed to help with the reproductive stages, a stress mitigation product, and a micro pack to improve plant health.

Map of Iowa drought conditions
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

As I have said, stress mitigation is my big focus this year. I believe the crop has all the fertility it needs but struggles with uptake when it is stressed out from heat. We have included stress mitigation products in nearly every pass this year and the results are showing. Even with the hot and dry summer we have had, the crops are very resilient and healthy. This is our best-looking corn ever. It has not even rolled up once this summer. Last year, we had corn rolling by early June.

I also believe that we are seeing a big difference in plant health due to the Xyway that we added to our 2x2 this year, and the timely fungicide passes at VT. We have done all we can do to keep stress off the crops this year and the results are showing. 

We are happy with the way our soybeans look. I’ve never found so many 4 bean pods. Typically, our plants are 3 bean pods. Using in-furrow, stress mitigators, and plant health PGR’s has helped tremendously. I feel we are starting to dial into what it takes to raise a tremendous soybean crop.

A green soybean pod with 4 seeds in it sits in the hand of a farmer wearing a wedding ring
Photo credit: XtremeAg


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

Last week, we harvested our February soybean field. Actually, my son Layne, and the crew did as I was in South Dakota at the AgPhD field day. Talking about the field day, Brian and Darren put on one of the best field days for farmers that I have ever experienced. It is one of the biggest highlights of my summer. There is so much to gain by being around farmers eager to learn and share ideas to further modern agriculture.

The XtremeAg farmers sit on stage for a panel at AgPhD's field day
Photo credit: XtremeAg

The February bean harvest was completed with a 79.74 bpa average. This is a little lower than the historical yield on this field, but that could be due to the extreme heat taking a toll on the seed size.  We will have a better idea of the reason once we cut the next block of beans. 

We had contemplated trying a corn crop right behind these February beans, but after running the idea past some expert agronomists, we decided that it probably was not a great idea and just went forward with another crop of soybeans. We planted a group 3.1 soybean on July 31st. Just as the planter came out of the field, we received 0.8” rain, setting the stage stage for emergence. Time will tell if we are able to grow 2 soybean crops in the same season.

John Deere tractor pulling a soybean planter in Arkansas in August
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We started corn harvest this week. The weaker fields are looking weak, and our stronger fields look more promising. I have a feeling that we are going to see that the record-setting heat in June and July probably had more of an effect than we originally thought.


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 last two weeks have been filled with traveling and a lot of learning. If you want to learn from how another operation works you need to go, see it in action during their growing season. 

I spent a few days in Alabama at Henderson Farms learning from Chad Henderson. Observing his guys servicing equipment and keeping the pivots running gave us some ideas to take home and incorporate into our farm. To see how they all operate together gave us ideas, too.

Two farmers in blue t-shirts check irrigation pivots in the dark

We are in the 3rd and 4th quarter of our crop’s life. Our first planted corn is only two weeks away from harvest. We have been cleaning up combines from the wheat harvest and getting them ready for corn and soybean harvest. As soon as the combines can hit the field we will run hard. Our goal is to get the crop out as quickly and safely as possible before any possible hurricanes come our way.

A man wearing a gray t-shirt and blue jeans stands on a ladder cleaning out a green John Deere combine in August 2022
Photo credit: XtremeAg

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