This spring was unusually wet and cold, and there was a lot of flooding. We had to make some tough decisions about whether to wait until conditions were right or whether to plant our seed in the mud. My AgVenture Yield Specialist, Wayne, reins me in sometimes when I want to be planting too early under the wrong conditions, and this year I’m glad he did.
Right now, we’re just getting started after enjoying some time off over the holidays and in January. We’re hitting the ground running, and the guys know when we come back, we’re back wide open.
In 2015, we were a bit below what we like to see; a bit below average. We fared better than some and worse than others. The new farm was less than we had hoped, but we got it pretty much whipped into shape now, so hopefully 2016 will see some changes.
We’re right in the middle of planting out here, and so far things are going well. I’ve been working with a new AYS, Colt Halloran, in addition to Mike Davis and Brian Maxwell. Colt and Mike came out to my farm on our third day of planting corn and walked behind the planter, checking seed depth and spacing. They said I was a bit too eager, and the ground was a bit too tacky to plant.
We’ve been going through a rough time lately. Two weeks ago today, my father of 93 years passed away. He was my business partner, my mentor and a big part of my life, and I feel lucky to have had a dad like him for so long in my life. So many people don’t get to have their dad with them near as much as I had mine.
He worked with me on my farm up to the end, as long as he could. He was very proud of the fact that he had grandsons that farmed, and myself. I guess he was proud of me too.
We’re in the middle of a bit of a wet spell right now so we’re in the shop today. We’re about on day three of rain — we’ve probably only gotten 3/4” total, but it’s enough to slow us down. But planting is going well. We got our corn finished up and planted on the 3rd, and it went fairly well.
We’re ready to plant now, but we just can’t. We are saturated — we’re so in the mud, no one’s even thinking about trying to plant. We have some beautiful days — 75° and sunny, but then the rain comes; we can’t get a long stretch of dry weather.
Mother nature ain’t letting us go to the fields, but that’s par for the course at this time. Right now it’s raining and cold at 34°, and everything’s wet and it’s supposed to get down to the 20s the next couple of nights. So we’re staying busy working on equipment in the shop. We’re also getting some seed corn delivered soon, so we’re working at a nice pace.
I don’t know exactly how many years I’ve been working with Wayne Dulaney, but I would say it’s about 10. Wayne and I grew up together, and our parents are still best friends. And when Wayne got into the seed business, he was mainly selling rice before he got into corn. We were laughing about that today even — Wayne said, “You taught me more about corn in my first two years than I ever knew before.” And it’s funny, because now I depend on Wayne more than anything for all my crops.
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.
I was planning on starting my planting on the 15th of April, but because of the cold, dry conditions I dragged my feet and didn't start until the 21st. In the first three days we weren’t particularly productive, but in the last three days we finally started to hit our stride. Then the weather shut us down again.