Content ID

328290

Storm season begins in the Delta

Kevin Matthews and Kelly Garrett look to wrap up planting this week as Matt Miles deals with his first wind-event of the season in southeast Arkansas.

MATT MILES - MCGEHEE, ARKANSAS

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

They say, “be careful what you wish for.”

This weekend, our Aquarius water sensors triggered an irrigation application, so we began irrigation on our soybeans. With being so slammed trying to get herbicide and fertility applications done ahead of this, we started begging for rain. Then on Sunday night, we got a little more than we bargained for with 60+ mph straight-line winds and in most places not enough rain to buy us more than 3 days. However, we will take and appreciate the 3 days.

Irrigation on Matt Miles' Arkansas farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

What also came with that wind was some green snap on corn, sandblasting on beans and cotton, and some of our polypipe was blown more than a half-mile from where it was laying in some cases. We found it in trees and neighbors' fields too. Took us all day Monday to get the pipe gathered up. Fortunately, we have wind insurance on the corn. Having said all of this, it could have been a lot worse.

Yellow wheat 2 to 3 weeks away from harvest on Matt Miles' farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

On a positive note, all crops are planted except our double-crop beans, which will go in once we harvest our wheat in 2 to 3 weeks. The nice thing is that out of the more than 10,000 acres of planting we have only had to replant about 30 acres of crops. That is almost unheard of for our operation. We got rain showers precisely when we needed them to soften the crust just enough for emergence. God is good “all the time.”

Field of green soybeans on Matt Miles' farm in Arkansas
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We are currently looking at a hot and dry forecast for the next 15 days so we will continue to irrigate later this week. As I always say, in the Delta, we are only 2 weeks from drought no matter how much rain we just received.

There is always lemonade with the lemons. Seems like every year we get to face new challenges, which Dad always said builds more character. Good luck to everyone as this year continues to unfold.

KELLY GARRETT - ARION, IOWA

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

Our March 21 and April 12 planted beans emerged after 4 weeks in the ground and then were hit with a 20° F. night a few days after they popped out of the ground. They did not fare well, and we ended up needing to replant those early beans.

Coming into spring, I was concerned about the lack of moisture in the soil after a winter with very little snowfall. Well, as soon as spring came, we received some timely rains and now the soil conditions for planting are probably the best we have seen in 20 years. I feel good about the early crop we have right now. We will wrap up planting this week.

Kelly Garrett's team working on John Deere planter in an Iowa field
Photo credit: XtremeAg

This year's planting season was plagued with electrical problems with our John Deere and Precision Planting technology. It's not just us either, it has also been something our neighbors have had to deal with as well. It is worth the hassle because when the technology is working properly it streamlines our operation and allows us to do more. But I sure get impatient waiting for problems to be fixed when all I want is to get in the field.

John Deere tractor in Iowa May 2022
Photo credit: XtremeAg

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 the barley crops in our area is turning fast and should start being harvested in the next 10 days. The wheat won't be far behind as we are targeting June 17 to start wheat harvest right now. I still can't make up my mind as to how it's going to yield.

Haige sprayer on North Carolina farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Our upland corn is getting the post-emerge applications at this time and overall, it is a very nice looking crop at this point in the season. We are on the tail end of planting corn in our river bottom acres and planting conditions are pretty good so far. We were blessed to get rained out Saturday night with more stormy days in the forecast. Hopefully, we can wrap up 2022 corn planting later this week.

Our soybeans are all planted except for the double-crop beans we will put in behind our wheat crop. Our early planted soybeans are being sprayed this week with a post-application.

It's time to begin putting our irrigation pumps in the rivers and flush out our Netafim subsurface drip irrigation systems and then pray that those showers remain timely so we can decrease our pumping with the high cost of diesel. The low PSI of our drip systems is certainly going to increase the ROI when compared to our higher-pressure pivot systems.

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