“We’ve got our farm set up where we can pretty well switch any one thing we want to. We can go to beans, milo, or cotton.”
RECORD HIGH PRICES FOR GRAIN HAVE GIVEN FARMERS MORE PLANTING CHOICES. JOE WILDER FARMS IN THE BRAZOS BOTTOM.
“What we’ve done is that we’ve taken, figured our inputs and seen which one will return us the most, and it is, there’s gonna be a lot of people that are going to go right down to the end and gonna change, if they can get the seed to change from corn to soybeans or soybeans to corn.”
FERTILIZER PRICES HAVE SKYROCKETED AND CORN NEEDS A LOT MORE NITROGEN THAN SOYBEANS. TRADITIONALLY SOYBEANS HAVEN’T BEEN A STAPLE OF WHAT’S GROWN HERE IN THE BRAZOS VALLEY.
“We’ve been planting then now 10 or 12 years, and been pretty successful with them. The problem is with beans, when it’s time to harvest, you’ve got to be sitting there with your combine and ready to get them, because if you don’t they’ll shatter and they’ll be on the ground. Where corn, it can sit there for 3 to 6 weeks after it’s mature and ready.”
SOYBEAN HARVESTING REQUIREMENTS HAVE DISCOURAGED SOME FROM GROWING THEM.
“A person does have to have the equipment to harvest them.”
AND FARMING INFRASTRUCTURE IS EXPENSIVE.
“Cotton pickers are in the 300 plus range. Combines are in the 200 plus range. All of the sudden, if a guy’s not planting but 3 or 400 acres, you can’t justify it, so you’re depending on somebody else to cut it for you. That’s the problem. Our commodity here gets ready, and all of the sudden the guys that are going to harvest it for you are tied up are on the coast because it rained and they haven’t gotten moved in.”
ADD A CRYSTAL BALL THAT DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK ON THE WEATHER, AND PLANTING DECISIONS CAN BE CHALLENGING. I’M JOE BROWN, LOOKING AT BRAZOS VALLEY AGRICULTURE, FROM THE GROUND UP.