Farmers brace for heat

2023-08-23 10:29:35

Chad Henderson - Madison, Alabama

Chad Henderson is part of a fifth-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.

It is hotter than ever in north Alabama, but we are making the best of it. On the bright side, we received a good rain of about 2 inches over the past weekend, so the corn has been looking good. We are going to begin harvesting the earlier-planted corn in about a week. Hopefully, it won’t be as hot.

The soybeans are in the same boat as the corn. The rain really helped and finished most of them out. The double crop soybeans are cleaned up and we have applied fungicide to most of them. However, about 500 acres of them are not ready for the fungicide because they're still at R3. The beans are growing well and should be ready in about a month.

We still need to haul some of the corn and wheat from 2022 out of the grain bins to clean them up and make room for this year’s crops. We plan to finish that up in about a week. We are done servicing combines and we will have two ready for corn harvest and two ready for soybean harvest. We are excited for this season’s harvest, and I can’t wait to share with everyone how it goes in my next blog.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

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

In the last week we have received about 2 inches of rain. That brings our three-week total to over 4 inches in a lot of areas around the farm, so our moisture looks decent now. This is great, because in the next week we are supposed to be receiving a lot of heat.

The corn is all pollinated and we have started making some of our R5 passes onto it. Last week we started making R5 passes in soybeans, and I feel in a lot of areas we could be raising one of our best crops ever. We have a few areas that are still hail damaged from May, but other than that, they are looking great, even with being behind on rainfall. We are behind about 6 inches in rainfall for the year, but the rain recently has been very timely and convenient for us.

I would like to compliment Integrated Ag Solutions, Mike Evans, and Mike Wingrove for keeping these crops looking the way they do. With the fertility and stress mitigation that we have been applying, I feel the ROI on the farm is really improving. I would encourage every grower to look beyond basic fertility (N, P, and K) and really look at plant health and stress mitigation. With a year like this, the payoff is very large when you focus on those things.

We have been feeding more cows than normal. Because of the weather, the pastures are getting short. In the pastures we do a rotation in the grazing paddocks. Luckily, there is still grass for the cattle to graze but it is getting short and almost fully gone. The sustainable system that the rotational grazing creates is easy to see the payoff of that in a year like this. I highly recommend other livestock folks look into a rotational grazing system.

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.

Sprayers are finishing up the last passes and harvest equipment is being prepared. Weeks of extremely high temperatures have limited how much time is spent in the grain bins and climbing elevator legs for servicing to early mornings. Corn harvest is looking to begin Labor Day week. Once the soybeans are ready the final pass for desiccation will begin.

It has been an unusual growing season with below average temperatures and rain showers steady until mid-July to now having high temperatures with no rainfall. Disease pressure has been low this year compared to normal. Our normal fungicide passes have still been made, as we know how quickly the disease can move in and cause issues.