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Higher corn prices drive more nutrient applications

XtremeAg farmers, Kelly Garrett, Matt Miles and Kevin Matthews head into the home stretch of this year’s crop season with plenty to be optimistic about.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

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

We are finishing up combining our wheat this week. Our yields are exceptional at an average of 105 bpa. This is our fifth year growing wheat, and we have been able to push our yields higher each year. Last year we had an average of 90 bpa on our wheat, so I am very excited about the 15 bpa bump this year. We worked very closely with the experts at AgroLiquid and AgXplore to customize foliar programs designed to push our yields higher this year. Both plots are seeing a 25- to 30-bpa yield response. Beyond the yields, we are also seeing the benefits of adding wheat into our soybean/corn rotation as it relates to improving soil health. We are seeing a ton of earthworms and the soil is rich and dark. I’m excited to see how next year’s corn crop performs on this soil.

I took the opportunity to demo a combine head from Honey Bee on wheat. I was impressed with how it cut closer to the ground and took the grain in more evenly than what I’ve experienced with the OEM head. I decided to buy one and can’t wait to try it out on soybeans in September.

A John Deere combine harvests wheat in July in Iowa
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We are currently applying Veltyma fungicide to the corn as well as a foliar of K-Flex and a PGR from AgXplore. Corn prices look great so we decided to invest a little more and see if we can squeeze some more yield out of the crop this year.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the AgPhd Field Day this week.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

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

Things are pretty boring in the Delta right now. Last week, we had 6 inches of rain in three days that ended up reflooding a lot of the acres that were replanted after the June flooding. Luckily, this time the water seemed to drain off quickly. As I mentioned last time, we are anticipating that insect pressure on these small beans will be tough. We swept the crop last week and had to immediately trigger a worm pesticide application. This will be one of many applications as farmers try to make something out of the replanted crop.

Map of Arkansas precipitation
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

We finished shredding our dead corn from the flooding and will now begin to get that land ready for next year. The lemonade that we hope to make out of this lemon is having the time to install our drain tile project from Advanced Drainage Systems before the winter rains set in.

Our corn was at 40% moisture last week, so that means we are about 10 days from harvest if we were to get normal weather for the next week. I’m not sure what “normal” weather means anymore after this season. We were hoping for a July harvest, but now it’s looking like it will be the first week of August before we open up the cornfields. We’ll pull some more samples at the end of this week and get a better idea of where we are in terms of timing after that. With this crazy weather, the moisture levels are not moving very quickly. We should also have some rice and beans ready to cut by the middle to later part of August.

Kernels of corn compared to a dime
Photo credit: XtremeAg

I’m going to use my late dad’s advice and go find all the good things going on at the farm and all the blessings we have been given this year. We have an opportunity to market some commodities at much higher prices than we have seen in a while, so that will make up some differences in the weather problems.

Good luck to everyone in the fourth quarter and hopefully we will see everybody next week at the AgPhd Field Day. It’s definitely one blessing to be able to interact with other farmers this year.

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.

All of our crops continue to look pretty good this season. Our full-season soybeans are a solid R3 with fungicide foliar applications wrapped up for the first round. It does seem that insect pressure is picking up. We will monitor this closely.

Our short-season double-crop soybeans will soon be ready for fungicide applications along with a nice dose of some Finish Line from Nachurs. We are also running fungicide on corn as some fields are showing signs of grey and northern leaf disease. Our heavy dew and foggy mornings create the need for a solid fungicide program this time of year. The V8-V10 early applications are very healthy compared with our post-tassel applications. It is really making us rethink application timing.

a diseased corn leaf growing in North Carolina
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Looking forward to getting up to Baltic, South Dakota, for the AgPhd Field Day. Always enjoy sharing and learning from great farmers while walking through the XtremeAg plots and others as well.

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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