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.
Jackson Webb’s roots run deep. A seventh generation farmer, he operates the same farm in the hot southern Delta that his forefathers originally homesteaded. Now, he’s making the most of modern technology and precision farming practices to take his yields higher than ever.
Jackson’s road to farming wasn’t typical. He majored in physics at Ole Miss and managed a bar out of college. But 14 years ago, the land called him back. Now he farms 2500 acres — 1500 in corn and 1000 in beans. Jackson’s father helps out when he can, and his wife keeps his books. Their two young kids, Lucy and Jack, are out with their dad every chance they get.
Jackson’s year-round partner is AgVenture Yield Specialist Wayne Dulaney of Dulaney Seed. The two grew up together and are now raising exceptional crops because of their constant communication and deep-rooted agronomy know-how.
This year, we did a really good job spacing out our acres so harvest would be easier to manage. We went real heavy corn this year — out of 4800 acres, we had 4000 acres of corn, 800 of beans, so I really didn’t want all that corn to be ready for harvest at once. We did a good job, so we could get all the corn harvested in a timely manner and didn’t have everything drying out in the field.
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.
Harvest began in mid-August in the Delta, and Jackson Webb is well into his crop. Here are some scenes from the fields.
We’ve been harvesting for two weeks now, and we’ve just finished all our dryland acres. It turned out okay; we saw 160 on some fields and around 130, 140 on others, which is okay. We’ve definitely done better, but we’ve also done a lot worse. I think it was more a compaction issue than anything. The field we harvested is our heaviest dirt; it’s a clay soil.
We dried up quick in a hurry this year, so we’re in the middle of irrigating this week. That’s all we’re doing, and we probably won’t have much else to do all summer. This is about week 2-3 of this and I’m just about to collapse.
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.
The Farm Bill
As you know, we picked up another 4,000 acres to add to our operation this year. I’m going in on it with a neighbor, and that’s going great so far. The place had been pretty