Cutting corners on the crop isn’t an option, but with 1,500 acres of grain crops and a robust custom spraying/harvesting business, Seven Springs, N.C., grower Warren Hardy says being precise and being timely are the keys to his farming business.

Using some different approaches to tank-mixing chemicals and on-farm storage help him with timeliness in his farming operation and a new SprayCoupe with an 80-foot boom and some new nozzles have helped keep him efficient in his custom farming business.

Since he came back to farming full time in 1985, Hardy has worked with his father, who is now retired, and together they have gradually grown their farming operation.

His latest venture is getting into grain buying. “I’m in the grain business, so it was a natural thing to get involved with buying grain. I don’t plan to be a large grain buyer, but with the on-farm storage we have, it looks like a good opportunity on a small scale,” he notes.

He can now store two-thirds of his soybean crop and half his corn crop. The next expansion, he says, will be building a bin to hold most of his wheat crop.

Last year Hardy had some problems in some of his wheat with cereal leaf beetles, making an extra application with an insecticide didn’t quite fit into his schedule. Working with Syngenta representative Roy Gorena, they piggy-backed a broad spectrum insecticide — Karate — with Quadris.

“Typically, we spray a little later for cereal leaf beetle than we spray fungicides on soybeans. Sometimes you can piggyback an insecticide with the fungicide and avoid having to go back and make a second insecticide application.

“Trying to get the spring crops planted and stopping to spray for cereal leaf beetle really would have interrupted corn planting and just would have messed up our schedule,” he says.

“The combination really saved us some time and it worked really well. We are looking at some different application times on corn, but routinely use fungicides on our wheat and to a lesser degree on our soybeans,” Hardy adds.