What is in this article?:
- Bryan Hagler forced to farm around record rainfall in 2013
- Working crop in standing water
- Will need less nitrogen
- Mother nature picked her spots
• Bryan Hagler who farms cotton first and then wheat, soybeans and corn in Scotland, Robeson, and Hoke counties in southeast North Carolina, says the rainfall that many are calling a 100-year phenomena, forced him to do things he never thought he would do in his farming career.
SOYBEANS PLANTED in early August are the biggest risk of all for North Carolina grower Bryan Hagler.
Working crop in standing water
“I never thought I’d be trying to work a crop in standing water, but we tried it,” he says. I knew it wouldn’t work, but just sitting there, knowing it was time to get things done and waiting was just so frustrating.
“For several weeks we only harvested one day a week. At the end of the day about all we did was leave ruts and holes in those fields that we tried to work, and that it will take a long time to fix,” he adds.
Hagler sat and watched wheat that could have been cut in June, sit in the soggy fields through July, and then finally dried out enough to harvest in early August. “A friend of mine asked me how that wheat was going to combine in August. My answer was like a lot of questions this year, I don’t know—never done it before,” he says.
Despite sitting in the field more than a month longer than planned, Hagler says his wheat yields and test weight turned out much better than he expected.
“We had good yields on most of our wheat — above the state average”, he adds.
Like most wheat growers in the Southeast this year, he did have some of his wheat sprouting in the head. However, when he sold it, there was no dockage on the price.
The obvious question is why? The only thing he did different this year, he says, he used Quick-Sol, a soil amendment product on all his wheat acres and most of the crops he grows.
“I used a small amount three years ago on a 100-foot wide strip, applied diagonally across a long field, and there was a visible difference in the field. When I ran the yield monitor on it when I picked the crop, there was a yield difference that first year.
“I used Quick-Sol on all our wheat and some of our corn last year and saw some yield advantage, particularly on soybeans.
“This year I put it on most of my land, and it may have helped with the wheat yield and quality — this kind of rain is a first in my lifetime, so it’s hard to say one thing made a difference, but using Quick-Sol is the only significant thing different than in any of my previous years of farming wheat,” he says.
He applied the silica-based product on wheat at planting last fall and again before the rains started in April.