Beating a Wet Spring in the Delta

We farm about 2500 acres down here in the Delta. This year we’re planting 1500 corn and 1000 beans, and we’re in and planted as of now. We’re up to a stand of corn, but the beans just got in the ground. We've been catching a lot of rains, and we buried two planters one weekend not long ago. We’ve been getting these two-day spurts of dry weather a week. When that happens, you just have to go as fast as you can for two days and sit around and wait for another week.

Everybody around here is really frustrated to say the least. It was a sprint to get everything in. Like everyone in the country, we’re used to more of a marathon. But this year it's a sprint. We had frozen grounds this spring, which normally we don't have. We also usually get a week or two in the winter just out of the blue where we can get out there and get some stuff done. We didn't have that this year — we stayed wet and cold all year. And now we're staying wet.

Luckily I am extremely lucky with the labor I have. One guy has been with me since I was 3. His family has been here for two generations, and he came to work here when he was 15. He is like a brother to me, and one of the sharpest guys I've got. He picks up on the technology and can handle any of it — and that’s rare. Even though mother nature hasn't been on our side, it's a relief to know I've got good guys backing me up.

Besides the weather, the other challenge we’re facing this year are prices. With the prices the way they are, I have to operate on a razor-thin margin. Don’t get me wrong — I live a comfortable lifestyle, and no complaints there whatsoever. But this year is not a year to save money. But it's a year to watch what you spend.

In the same breath, I don't think there's anything I'm going to cut back on. There are some projects I would have liked to have done this year, but with $5 corn, they're going to have to wait. I don't see any reason why we can't have as good a crop this year as we had last year, but in my operation I'm going to have to watch what I'm spending and where.