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End of a tough season is in sight

Chad Henderson and Lee Lubbers start to see the yield toll that the hot and dry summer has taken in crops.


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.

Map of Alabama temperatures
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

We are finally done with corn harvest. Overall, yields in our corn ended up below average. I'm not surprised by the lower yields, as it was incredibly dry this summer and the heat was relentless. I’m just happy that we were able to make it to the end and still produce a yield after the season we’ve had. It will be interesting to see the results of all of our corn trials this year. The yield data from our trials will help us as we make decisions for next year.

Chad Henderson harvests soybeans in Alabama
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We are just starting to cut soybeans now. Like our corn, they are running a little behind average.

We are also preparing the corn ground for wheat. We plan putting our wheat crop in close to Oct. 20.


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.

The signs of fall are showing up in South Dakota. Soybeans are dropping leaves, yet harvest is still a little ways off. Hopefully within a week we can get the combines started in beans. Corn is drying down too. Unless it rains soon, our winter wheat will go into dry ground. It’s finally cooling off now. We’ve been in the upper 90s for way too long.

We ended up hauling over 100 loads of gravel to our bin sites and surrounding yards. When it gets wet again, it will be nice to have a good base of gravel laid down again. We are checking over augers, bins, and other equipment to make sure we are ready for fall harvest.

A John Deere sprayer sits on Lee Lubbers' farm in South Dakota
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We will spray part of our wheat stubble this coming week. It has been so dry most fields don’t have anything growing in them. There are no weeds, and the volunteer wheat hasn’t had enough rain to sprout yet.

We’re staying busy with all the miscellaneous projects because before we know it, we will be in full harvest mode and seeding at the same time.

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Most Recent Poll

Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
49% (19 votes)
36% (14 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
8% (3 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
5% (2 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
3% (1 vote)
Total votes: 39
Thank you for voting.