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.
Harvest began in mid-August in the Delta, and Jackson Webb is well into his crop. Here are some scenes from the fields.
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.
We are warming up and drying out quickly here in the Delta. We’ve been in the 60s this week — just warm enough for the mosquitos to come out. I just had to run up to Dulaney’s and pick up some planter attachments and there were planters in the field doing prep work.
Everybody’s already gearing up for planting. We usually shoot for the first couple weeks of March to get out there, depending on the temperature and forecast and all that.
I haven’t felt burned out in a long time, but this year I feel it. Everybody is ready for a break. It’s been kind of a roller coaster year — from wondering if you’re ever going to get seed in to getting it and replanting beans 4-5 times, to our wet spring and thankfully a wet, cool summer.
These last few weeks we’ve been really busy with harvest. I’m tired. And my wife started back teaching, so yeah, it’s been an adjustment. We’re over halfway done with our corn, and we started cutting beans this week. We’ll have the rest wrapped up by October 1st at the latest.
I’m lucky. We use a propane drier to dry our corn — we’ve had ours for 20 years —but most people down here don’t have them.
If you are hoping another part of the country has a crop failure so your market price goes back up on corn and soybeans, it won't be the southern Delta coming to your rescue. I just spent 3 days there this week and the corn crop is solid, the bean crop is awesome in LA, MS, AR. Early soy yields in Louisiana are 85 to 90 bpa, with good farms at 110!
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.