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Even in a Rainy Year, Irrigation Paying Off

We heard James Russell Boyd, farmer quite a lot last year about moving forward with installing irrigation on his farms in Washington and Beaufort County NC. While the 2012 growing season was considered one of the most ideal weather-wise in recent memory, Boyd says he’s had little opportunity to utilize all that irrigation this year. But, when and where he did use irrigation, it’s paid off:

“It’s the best investment we made. We have saved a lot of money on fuel and we have irrigated part of the corn four times early in the season and there was a 25-30 acre bushel to the acre difference in the irrigated vs non where we irrigated early.

We are right now in the early stages of harvest. We have harvested about 700 of the 3500 acres. Its all been really good. We had some yesterday where the water had damaged it and it averaged about 120 bushels, but that is the worst we have. The best we picked was 258.

We had all of our wheat out and our soybeans planted on time but the biggest asset we had was our grain bin and our dryer. We picked very little wheat under 20% moisture, but we got it all out in between rains.

Our soybeans look good. There are some beans in our area that have a lot of water damage but ours don’t show that. Our concern is the water we might have in the next three weeks where we have beans ready for harvest.”

We’ll hear more from James Russell Boyd as the season progresses. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.