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Irrigation makes a 100 Bushel per Acre Difference in NC Corn

James Russell Boyd farms in Washington and Beaufort Counties, and expanded his acres under irrigation this year. Right now, Three B Farms is harvesting corn between showers, according to Boyd:

“We are picking between showers. The other truck is coming in right now, the other one had to wait for the mud to get moved off the road.”

While the irrigation system hasn’t been pressed into service a great deal this year, Boyd says there’s a marked difference in yields:

“From 160 to 250 bushels and it was a 100 bushel difference between the irrigated and the non-irrigated crops.”

While Boyd is very pleased with the corn yields that he’s seen thus far, weather continues to be a challenge:

"The crops all look good, if we can just keep these storms out of here, but that’s something we can’t control. I feel bad for the folks over in New Orleans getting all that moisture.”

Boyd explains that they’re harvesting a little wet this year in an effort to get the valuable crop out of the field:

“When we started picking it was 26% and its running 22 now. We make more money picking it at 25-26% all the way down to 20, that way we don’t lose much. The field is a poor place to store grain.”

It was suggested early in the summer that a second corn planting behind wheat might be a proposition that pays off, and Boyd has some acres that he’s done just that:

“We have some irrigated corn that we planted behind wheat, but that will be about 3-4 weeks before its ready. We did it to see if we could rotate the corn in, we hope to get at least 100 bushels out of it. When you look at the price of corn that’s about $800 an acre right now.”

As far as the other crops, Boyd feels that cotton is going to do well:

“We only ran irrigation on cotton a few times to save the squares, but it looks good right now. We aren’t sure if that will be a good yield, as this year the big yield has been in corn.”

And the soybeans are looking pretty as well, after a couple of sprayings for worms, says Boyd.

James Russell Boyd Farms Three B Farms in Washington and Beaufort Counties North Carolina. we’ll check in with Boyd again and see how the double crop corn fared. 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.