Going through a year of drought, combined with high inputs to produce crops, can change the mind-set of a farmer when he is making planting decisions for an upcoming year. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown tells us that any plan requires a little help from Mother Nature.
"This year we changed over to corn and cotton and milo and some beans and some wheat. We figured we’d try that because of the moisture, and then the fertilizer prices were really really high this year, and corn takes a lot of fertilizer."
Walter Vajdak dry land farms a little east of Snook.
"Beans, they won’t fill out, they’ll be little ole dried up beans and the milo, the heads won’t fill out properly, and cotton naturally it does a little bit better in hot weather but it has its limits."
The drought and continuous high temperatures have also negatively impacted Vajdak’s cotton crop.
"This cotton right now is about knee high. Some of it’s a little over knee high, but it should be waist high or shoulder high and the middle should be full, and you have a hard time even walking down through it because by this time of year it should be just laid over with bolls."
Fruit can’t develop without moisture.
"Bolls are about half size. It should be quite a bit bigger than what they are now if they would have the moisture to fill out."
This year for dry land farmers is almost in the history books.
"The rain won’t help anything but the cotton a little bit. It almost too late for it, but on all the other crops we have, the grain sorghum, beans, and the corn, it’s too late. "
And even the best strategy won’t work without moisture.
"If you don’t get rain, nothing’s going to work. You have to have rain when you’re dry land, it doesn’t matter what you plant."
I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.