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Harvesting crops and knowledge for 2022

Kelly Garrett, Matt Miles, and Kevin Matthews are finishing up harvest and looking at what worked and what didn’t in 2021.


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

We are back in the field for the first time in over a week. The 3 inches of rain we received last week shut us down. With our steep inclines, we need to be extra careful about putting the combines back in the field when traction is an issue. We are on a great harvesting pace and have about 1,500 acres left to harvest until we can put the 2021 season in the books.

Iowa map of precipitation the last week of October 2021
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

It’s not a major problem yet, but we can see where the corn with the rootworm trait is not keeping the pest at bay. Next year we will add a pesticide to our in-furrow fertilizer to combat the problem. 

We have been applying both anhydrous and our plant food soil amendment right behind the combine up until the wet weather. Should be back at it this week.

John Deere tractor with anhydrous
Photo credit: XtremeAg

I’m really impressed with the data we are getting back from our stress mitigation trials. We are seeing a real yield boost in our Xyway, WeatherKing (Hefty Naturals), and Agricen trials. This season put the stress mitigation products to the test in a big way. Next year one of our key focuses will be applying these products on most of our acres based on the success we had with them this year. I’ll be talking about this and sharing my other key learnings from this season on XtremeAg this week. 


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

As always, nothing feels better than to have your crop out of the field and your field prep all completed. We spent all last week going through all our yield data, marketing, and brainstorming ideas with our team about the crop strategy for next season. Since we can grow multiple types of crops in our region, our rotation decisions can be very complex quickly.

Matt Miles stands with soil
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Two exciting things we are working on this fall are adding yellow peas as a winter rotation crop and installing our new drain tile system from Advanced Drainage Systems. Neither project is common to our area, and we are excited to have the opportunity to try something that is not the norm. As both projects evolve, I will report back on each, so please stay tuned to to see how the ROI turns out on both. Good luck with remaining harvest and hopefully we can get some R&R when things slow down.


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.

We are days away from wrapping up 2021 harvest, and we’re working on winterizing our irrigation system. We are flushing out our Netafim SDI systems before freezing temperatures set in. We’ll drain them and then blow them out with a compressor to get out any remaining water. The drip systems will be well protected beneath the soil surface until springtime. We will also drain our center pivot and get it prepared for cold weather. Irrigation is just like any other piece of equipment on the farm that needs maintenance to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency. 

Kevin Matthews flushes his irrigation
Photo credit: XtremeAg

A few rainy days have given us the opportunity to start reviewing data for all the products we tested this season for our partners and members. I’ve been impressed with some of the initial data from our Pivot Bio trials and the heat and drought tolerance we’ve gained by using both Nutra Shield and Heat Shield from Hefty Naturals. 

I was really surprised by the response we received from Pacesetter by Marrone Bio Innovations. It really showed strong in our wheat and corn, and hopefully soybeans will have the same response when they are harvested this week.

We are compiling all our research for the past year to share and discuss with members during our annual member webinar. There is a lot of useful information that will help all of us decide what will provide ROI on our farms in 2022. Margins will be tight in 2022, so making the right decisions will be crucial. 

Thank you to all our members and partners for helping make 2021 a successful year!

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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