Improvements in drainage and equipment have enable Doin and Trey Bowers to greatly expand their corn, rice and soybean operation from a relatively small acreage in Doin's father's day to a relatively large block of land today.
They farm about 4,400 acres of rice and a changing mix of corn, soybeans and wheat to fill out the remainder of their 12,000 acres. And they do it with a relatively small amount of labor, in part, because there aren't that many experienced farm workers left in the Corning, Ark., area where the father and son farm.
“We’ve been in rice for 48 to 50 years,” said Doin. “When my father started growing rice, he had an allotment of 38 acres. We’ve added to that as we’ve had opportunities to expand and the equipment became available to us."
One of their long-term goals is to improve their ability to get water on and off their fields. They’ve been land-levelling from 160 to 200 acres or more per year for the last several years. “It began as having something for our labor to do between layby and harvest,” said Trey. “But we’ve seen benefits from putting the land to grade.
They also grid sample their fields with the help of consultant Van Dawson, agronomist at Bowers Farms. The grid sampling at 2-acre intervals allows them to see changes in soil texture across their field and to adjust their fertilizer applications, accordingly.