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Crops show potential despite unfavorable weather

After a month of hot and dry conditions, XtremeAg farmers Lee Lubbers and Chad Henderson still see potential in their crops. 


Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, grew up in the farming tradition, and remembers well using leftover scholarship money as the down payment for his first tractor and rent for 200 acres. Today, he farms more than 17,000 acres of dryland soybeans, corn, and wheat. Lubbers says one of the most important things to him is to always be learning and challenging himself to build an operation and a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.

We are in drought mode again. Moisture has been pretty sparse this growing season and 100 degree days have become the norm  this season.

Map of South Dakota drought monitor
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

We are cutting our winter wheat now. Most of our wheat acres never saw a drop of rain from the time it headed out. Still, we are happy with the crop we have. The intensive management and crop protection we applied really helped the crop get through a very tough season.

Our corn and soybean crops are still managing to hang on but they are showing more and more stress each day. The two areas on the farm that were lucky enough to receive some rain last week, are looking a little more promising. We will see how they yield out in the end.

We’ve got numerous trials in fields using foliar crop protection products on our corn and soybeans. We are starting to see some slight visual differences in some of the trials. If it doesn’t rain soon the differences should become even more obvious. 

The good news we feel that our crops have a lot of potential, but they will need a rain to activate it.

This week we are starting a large 900 acre tiling project with Hodgman drainage and ADS. They say the best time to tile is in a drought, so I guess we picked a good year for that!


Chad Henderson is part of a fifth-generation farming operation in Madison, Alabama. Henderson Farms operates over 8,000 acres of dryland and irrigated corn, dryland soybeans, wheat, and dryland and irrigated double-crop soybeans. When not farming, Chad can be found carrying on another proud family tradition as a drag racer for Henderson Racing.
It’s been hot and rain had been sporadic at best. Our pivots are running wide open. Last week, we did get lucky enough to get a few showers that took some of the load off our pivots for a few days. This week there are several days with 30-50% chance of rain. On a positive note, it seems that the month of dry hot weather we’ve had has kept disease at a minimum. 

This is a busy week. The first round of fungicide is going out on our early beans. We’ll be using BASF’s Revytek.

A field of double crop soybeans on Chad Henderson's farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Our double-crop soybeans are looking very good. They came through the wheat straw strong and now are filled with blooms. We are conducting trials with AgroLiquid, Nachurs, Spraytec and AgXplore to see if we can push yields on our double-crop beans this year. Normally we expect 50 to 60 bpa on our double crop beans, but we are trying to push yields to the 70 bpa range this season.

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