Benton Co. Farmer Wraps Up Planting, Makes Adjustments Due to Prices

Many farmers have wrapped up planting in the last couple of weeks. One of those is Benton County farmer Bryce Biddle.

Like everyone else, the rain held him off for quite a while, but “once we got started, we didn’t get that rain break and we were able to just go, go, go and get stuff planted pretty quickly. Surprisingly quickly.”

As it stands now, Biddle is excited about yield potential for this year. He says everything is emerging and looking good.

“We worked some ground early when we were planting the beans and we planted it in probably a little drier dirt than what we’d hope for. Then we got a late rain here and got bailed out and everything got brought up really good. Now the corn is just growing really fast, so we’re getting ready to start side dressing 28 today and then spraying will be getting going because the weeds are growing just as fast as the corn.”

Biddle says current market prices and increased input costs drove him to do something this year that he hasn’t before.

“I went ahead and booked fungicide and insecticide for the corn and beans this year. Some years I kind of take a wait-and-see approach but I thought with prices where they are and costs where they are, we want to lock in any yield potential and not let that out the door.”

The availability of fertilizer and herbicides was a major point of concern throughout the winter for many farmers. Biddle says that hasn’t been a concern of his and believes his loyalty to companies he purchased from previously was key.

“In our case, they allotted us the same stuff we’d had the year before. We weren’t necessarily guaranteed that, but it was earmarked for us. So, we didn’t have to worry about whether we’re going to get stuff or not.”

We’ll follow up with Biddle throughout the season to see if his early season optimism holds up and if the fungicide and insecticide decision turned out to be a good one.

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