From the Ground Up - Brazos Valley Corn and Cotton

In our part of Texas, this time of the year corn and milo crops are getting close to be harvested, but cotton fields are still adding to their yield potential. The key player from here on out will be Mother Nature. John Malazzo grows corn and cotton in Burleson County.

“Well we did have some good rainfall in May, and that’s probably why we’re looking at a pretty decent corn crop right now. We had two or three rains that were substantial in the month of May, and they were timely, also. May was a little better wind-wise. We were able to get in there and do some spraying and some fertilizing that we had been unable to do before.”

Farmers have experienced lows and highs with their crop yields over the last couple of years.

“Well, eleven was the worst ever. Twelve was the best ever. I think the thirteen corn crop is going to be somewhere in the middle, maybe a little bit closer to the twelve crop.”

Corn yields have been made and harvest will begin when the corn has dried down to the proper moisture content.

“Between now and then we don’t want any major wind storms or torrential rain storms either that would lay it over. We’ve had times where you get a big tall stalk with a big heavy ear on it, and if you get a three or four inch rain with a bunch of wind, sometimes you’ll see it lay over, which makes it very hard to harvest.”

Farmers with dry land cotton have benefitted from the recent rains that increased their yield potential. Farmers with the ability to irrigate would prefer dry weather until harvest time.

“An irrigation at the proper time would be more beneficial than to get that same amount of rainfall at a time that might be a little too early or a little too late.”

Malazzo grows both both dry land and irrigated crops.

“We don’t really know what to wish for as far as weather-wise. We don’t know whether to wish for drain or dry weather because there’s certain times of the year when we need both, or we don’t need either. That diversity though, is also what keeps us in business year-in and year- out.”

From this point forward, the cards Mother Nature deals will determine harvest yields.