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• 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.
Will need less nitrogen
“One thing we found out is we will need less nitrogen on the Quick-Sol-treated wheat, and I think some of the yield loss we saw came because of lodging, which was the result of too much nitrogen,” Hagler says.
This year he sprayed all his wheat with Quick-Sol and plans to cut back on the nitrogen. “I can pay for the Quick Sol with the money I save on nitrogen,” he says.
Scotland County, N.C., is the center of Hagler’s farming operation and seems to be the epicenter this year for the historic rainfall. Hagler planted his largest corn crop ever this year and feared the worst as it sat through the record rains.
Again, he was pleasantly surprised at how well his yields turned out on fields that survived the excessive rain.
“We had some fields that were totally washed out and had very low yield, but on the fields that survived we were above the state average on yield and the quality turned out surprisingly well,” he says.
Along the edges of some of our corn fields we picked some that was in the 160 bushel per acre range. Then, in the middle of the field, we picked zero.
“This year it seems that even a three-inch drop in elevation from the outer rows to the middle of the field meant the difference between making a good crop and making no crop,” he adds.
Cotton, about 2,000 acres of it, is another story. There is no uniformity to the cotton crop. It was typical across most of the cotton producing areas of the Carolinas to have some by September that was chest high and spindly and some that was still blooming.
“We’ve had so many days with rain, long stretches with cloudy, overcast conditions and low temperatures and cotton just doesn’t grow under those kinds of conditions,” the North Carolina grower says.
“We may have some average yield on our cotton in Scotland and Robeson counties, but not in Hoke County,” he adds.