Timing a Perfect Season

This season has been an anomaly. The biggest thing is we have not watered one full time around yet. The pivot has run twice. We've had somewhere in the neighborhood of probably 14 inches of rain in the last six weeks.

Normally, three waters is about average. I just went back and looked just for the fun of it — and normally we start about the last week of May and we don't stop until the last week of July...and we haven't. It's just, it's unreal really — so we've had near-perfect growing conditions. We've had probably three days that the temps got up to mid 90s, but it was before pollination — before tassels — and other than that we've been anywhere from the mid-80s to low-90s the past six weeks. We've had almost perfect weather on the corn.

If you got it in in a timely manner this season, you’ve got a great crop. If you did, it’s near perfect. I've got neighbors that didn't get planted soon enough, and it looks awful. Timing is huge this year. I've got a friend down the road (he's actually my chemical salesman), and he's got beans in the pod.  He was planting his beans when I was planting my corn. So the timing this year has been key. Wayne, my Yield Specialist, said it was hit or miss in a lot of spots. I got lucky — or blessed. Not sure which.

Bad-Luck Beans

The beans are a different story. They’ve stayed wet and they’re not growing like they should — one of my neighbors has replanted four times. It's getting kind of frustrating with everything you throw at them, saying well that didn't work. Either that or you get another 3-inch rain. Then, they're right back where they were a week ago. I'm getting real close to abandoning replanting.

With some of the other beans around here, it's not a disaster. I'd say 70% of the crop looks pretty good but then you've got the other 30% that just doesn't look good. It’s hard to decide whether to replant because if you’ve got beans that are blooming and you're going to go back in and replant them, the problem comes at the end of the year- they’re late. So then you're late getting in again. That's how I look at it. Some of it is still knee-deep underwater from the last big rain we got, and all the ditches are full because the water has nowhere to go.

Looking Ahead to Harvest

For corn, I am thrilled with what Wayne has put on me. I haven't cut it yet, but, my banker asked how it looks, and I said it looks to be one of the best crops I've ever had. It may get to it; it may not, but aesthetically, it looks like the best crop of ever had. End-to-end and side-to-side, it's got a beautiful color — it's kept the color just for the weather we've had.

Up next is harvest. I'm thinking I've got maybe two maybe three waterings left on the irrigated corn. It may be two. The target is this week for harvest, so just around the corner. Realistically it'll probably be the next week after, just because year after year it seems like it gets to 30% and it sits forever. And almost overnight, it drops five points. Normally, I would start around the 21st or 22nd, but Wayne and I have been talking and I think, based on the price and everything else, we are going to push it to the 22nd or 23rd.