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XtremeAg farmers are thankful for milder weather

XtremeAg farmers Lee Lubbers and Dan Luepkes take advantage of milder weather to work on field prep for spring, while Chad Henderson is still racing to get done with harvest.

Lee Lubbers – Gregory, South Dakota

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.

Harvest has been done for two weeks now and we are still busy as ever. We cleaned up all our harvest equipment and went right into doing dirt work, spraying our fall burndowns, and hauling corn to a terminal about 80 miles away. Being in a no-till environment, we are laying down some fall burndown acres to get a jump on 2022. We’ve seen other years where the ground would be covered in snow by now, so the push has been on to do what we can while the weather is good. The milder fall this year is a breath of fresh air for us. 

Two semi trucks with lights on in South Dakota on Lee Lubbers farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We’ve been doing some vertical tillage on some low spots in cornstalks. We run shallow, and our goal is to just lightly stir up the soil rather than kill earthworms. Our window is rapidly shrinking and, in several days, it looks like any field activities will be done and the shop work will start. Soon it will be time to attack that mountain of paperwork in my office.

Green John Deere tractor with blue tillage equipment
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Dan Luepkes – Oregon, Illinois

Dan Luepkes farms in Oregon, Illinois, with his son. Together they farm 1,800 acres of dryland and irrigated corn and soybeans, along with hay. He uses subsurface drip irrigation and pivots on his irrigated crops. He also manages a 200-head cattle operation.

Harvest is all wrapped up here in northern Illinois, except for a few fields. My son, David, says now the busy season starts as it becomes a mad rush to get our chicken litter on the fields and work some of the fields that are not part of our no-till program.

Chicken litter unloading from a semi on Dan's Illinois farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Our weather for this time of year has been good. Our fields are dry, and it’s easy to get things done on them. Every year we have waterways to put in and some drainage projects to do. We just got in some more rolls of tile from Advanced Drainage Systems that we’ll install soon. By far, drain tile still is one of the best investments that you can make for your farm.

Farming is full of different jobs: some are fun and rewarding, and some just plain suck, like blowing off the combine. I still must do that but might procrastinate that task for another week or so.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Chad Henderson – Madison, Alabama

Chad Henderson is part of a five-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.

We are working hard and fast to finish up wheat planting. There are a few double-crop soybeans still in the fields that need to be harvested. We are still getting a steady schedule of precipitation, but in the last few weeks, the winds in between showers have kept the fields dry enough to get back into them with the combines.

Chad Henderson harvests soybeans in a John Deere combine on his Alabama farm
Photo credit: XtremeAg

This past week we combined the late-planted soybeans on the field we installed our big ADS tile earlier this season. We didn’t get our double-crop beans on the ground until July on that field, but they seem to have done well considering the late-planting date. We are monitoring the lift stations closely to track the amount of water that has been discharged as well as the fertility levels of the water. We are doing this on a weekly, monthly, and yearly tracking schedule. The farm is irrigated; therefore, we know exactly the amount of water we are applying to the crop and the amount being removed by the tile system. The ground has now settled over where we installed the tile lines, so there is more work to be done in the field before spring. Happy Thanksgiving all!

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