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Waiting for the million dollar rain

Matt Miles and Kevin Matthews put planting on hold, before getting much needed rains, while Kelly Garrett still waits for fields to dry out. 


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

My dad used to say “that was a million dollar rain.” We literally got one on Thursday.

Map of Arkansas precipitation
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Here in the Delta with only 6 inches of topsoil, we are always two weeks away from a drought. It can rain 6 inches on the 1st and by the 15th we are looking for moisture. That was the case in the last two weeks. I stopped the cotton planters Wednesday due to lack of moisture. Last month we were begging for a few dry days – this week we were begging for a rain. I guess farmers are never satisfied, but the Delta weather can make a man go crazy! 

We have learned we have to have enough equipment to hit the small windows we get here. The great thing is most of our area has gotten the crops in on a timely manner. 

On a positive note, crops are looking good, and we actually have the February beans at the R1 growth stage. We have never had blooms by May 4, so this is exciting to watch unfold.

Green soybeans agains a blue sky growing in May on an Arkansas farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We now have moisture to finish up the cotton, and then we can call planting 2022 a done deal. 

Good luck to everyone as planting season wraps up.


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

A few nights after emergence we hit 23°F. I had hoped to be able to deliver an application of Shield soon after emergence, but the cold night came before we could get in the field. It’s too early to tell, but I’m concerned we’ll have to replant some of our bean acres due to cold snap.

An emerged soybean pokes through brown Iowa soil surrounded by corn residue
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Everything we planted since then has not emerged yet. We’ve been digging to check the seedlings, and everything looks promising at this point, but still nothing above ground yet. We are expecting warmer temperatures Monday and Tuesday, so we should see more emergence later in the week.

We’re wet still and behind schedule with planting by a few weeks. But, we’re not sweating it. In fact, I just did a podcast on XtremeAg last week talking about why I’m not concerned yet. Everything should be OK. You can listen to it here at

A John Deere planter on a John Deere tractor with 360 Yield tanks sits at the edge of an Iowa field
Photo credit: XtremeAg


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.

Our planters were rolling until we ran out of moisture and had to park them for six days. We then received a 0.25 inch and we were off again, until we got rained out with a good 0.5 to 1 inch of much-needed rain. 

The rain should allow us to finish our upland corn and soybeans, then hit the river bottoms and go wide open until we are done.

John Deere planter at work on a North Carolina farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

The planters finally began performing well after numerous issues. The only trouble-free product that was installed on our planter was the SelectShot by CapstanAg, an in-furrow system for electric planters. It will be neat to see how keeping all in-furrow products 2 inches from seed affects yield outcome. We are testing many rates and products with this SelectShot equipment for XtremeAg. We will share all the info with our members. 

Our wheat fungicide is now complete. We are hoping to prevent head scab. I’m not sure what to think about our wheat crop. A lot of my neighbors have some really good wheat. However, it’s just hard to say how strong ours might be. 

The last pass we did with Nachurs Finishline and Miravis Ace across all the acres has made the wheat look much better. On our XtremeAg wheat challenge acres I had to throw in some PaceSetter from MarroneBio on 103 acres. Last year it gave us huge returns, but I need another year with it before I put it on every acre.

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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