2013 was a good year for the corn and soybean crops in the upper Mid-South, but 2014 could be even better, according to Larry Ganaan, technical agronomist for Monsanto Asgrow/DeKalb.
Continuing our reports from area field days, Ganaan said the moderate temperatures of the last 60 days have been almost ideal for corn and beans. If August is similar to the rest of the summer, farmers could add 15 to 20 bushels to their typical soybean yields and 20 to 25 to corn.
Speaking at the Asgrow/DeKalb agAcademy in Union City, Tenn., Ganaan said one more rain in August could “make the crop” for many growers. “We’ve been dry in some areas, and a rain would help. In others, they’ve had abundant moisture, and another rain would just be gravy on top of what they have.”
(As this is being written, rain has been falling across much of the upper Mid-South. Farmers in the Jonesboro, Ark., area, for example, got more than an inch of rain Thursday night and more fell in the Memphis area Friday afternoon and Saturday morning – an unusual occurrence in what is “normally” the hottest, driest part of the year.)
Ganaan said he’s seeing a significant increase in the amount of irrigation in West Tennessee, an area that has typically seen mostly Dryland crop production.
“In the last three years, we’ve begun prefacing our recommendations with the question ‘is this for dryland or irrigated acres,” he said, “because if it’s for irrigated, we have a different set of products for you.”
While the prospects for this year’s crops appear bright, Ganaan wasn’t ready to predict any 100-bushel-plus soybean yields for west Tennessee.
“I worked in Arkansas for 20 years, and I’ve been on some of those farms (where growers recorded more than 100-bushel soybean yields in 2013), and I know what they do,” he said. “We’re not there yet in west Tennessee, but I think we could be in a few years. One thing is that irrigation will help us get closer to that level.”
For more on Arkansas’ high-yielding producers, see http://deltafarmpress.com/southern-corn-and-soybean-production-guide/busting-soybean-yield-barrier-arkansas-growers-break-reco