A Season of Extremes

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.

Some of our fields were completely flooded in the early season, and it would have been a disaster to plant in the mud. We held out as best we could, but there came a time when we had to get the last of our seed in the ground. We planted in less-than-ideal conditions because we had to, and now we’re seeing the effects in our yield numbers. Luckily, the affected areas didn’t account for much of our 4,000 acres. It’s a testament to how planting in the right conditions really does make a difference.

As the season progressed, we were always about 10 days away from drought, but the weather held. We had beautiful weather during the soybean harvest and the last part of the corn harvest.  Even though we were rushing to get our corn crop out in time, the crop held up well, aside from just a bit of down stalk toward the end of harvest. The stalk went from having a little green tint to being dead as a hammer in a matter of days. From the sounds of it, we weren’t the only ones.Thankfully, it wasn’t a huge part of our overall crop.

As for our yields, the corn numbers are off this year from where they should be, but it's still a good crop. We had the potential to handle 250 bushels per acre, but because of various factors, we wound up with 200 bushels per acre. That’s still great for us here in the Delta, so I’m pleased. Much of our yield loss had to do with the flood conditions during planting, but we knew that was a risk going in. After the planting season we had, I’ll take the 200 bushels per acre!.

Our soybeans on the other hand were phenomenal — one of the best bean crops I've ever had. Beyond weather, another factor that helped us out was continuing with our liquid fertilizer program, which included a special, expanded P and K application. Instead of using solid fertilizer, we used a liquid sidedress application, and we’ve had good results with it — both last season and this season. My neighbor and I are trying it together, and so far, we're very pleased with it.

After a long harvest this year, I’m happy to report that we are finally done. Now it’s time to rest for a minute, do some hunting and prepare for next season.