Even a Great Grower needs a little help from above to end up with a great crop to harvest, but Southwest Missouri farmer Kip Cullers says they got virtually no rain this season, resulting in yields that are “dismal at best.”
When we talked to Kip back in April for the BASF Crop Protection Great Growers series, he was thrilled with how quickly planting had progressed and how fast the corn was emerging. But the weather rapidly took a turn for the worse after that time. “It hadn’t rained in Southwest Missouri since the first of April until last weekend,” he said. “It’s so hard to overcome no help from Mother Nature.”
The World Champion Soybean Grower says despite the lack of rainfall, they did have good luck controlling weeds this season. “Our herbicides this year worked really well,” he said. “We went back to more pre-emerge herbicides versus going over the top with generic glyphosate and have gotten along a lot better doing that.” Kip says this is the second year they have used that strategy.
Even though this is the second year Kip has faced weather challenges, he’s not looking to change much for 2013. “”Surely we won’t have three years of this in a row!,” he said. “There’s no reason to change a program because of one or two bad years because putting on fungicides and insecticides and taking care of your weeds does pay big dividends if it just rains some.”
We caught Kip this week as he was leaving the Farm Science Review in Ohio and heading to catch a flight to Sao Paulo. With the U.S. crop lowered due to weather this year, Kip says the South American crop is more important than ever. “We need Brazil to raise a big crop just because we’ve created all this demand,” he said. “We need to come through with our end of the bargain and supply all that.”
Kip, pictured here with his wife Michelle at the 2012 Commodity Classic, is a big believer in BASF Headline fungicide for plant health and knows it makes a difference when plants are stressed. “It’s not a miracle drug, but it sure will help you through some tough times,” he said, but noted that when there’s no rain at all, the best help is to “just do a lot more praying.”
Listen to an interview with Kip here: BASF Great Grower Kip Cullers