Central South Carolina Farmers Excited About Cotton & Peanuts


The last two years were close to 100% crop failures in October in central South Carolina due to flooding and Hurricane Matthew.  This year, producers not only have a bumper crop, but they have they can actually harvest and sell.

Calhoun County Extension’s Charles Davis:

“Well, the peanut crop we have this year looks really good compared to what we’ve dealt with the last couple of years.  We’re just thankful that we’re harvesting peanuts without a flood or a hurricane, so right now we’re probably 70% harvested, working our way very quickly to this coming week being the last big push.  We feel like we’re moving along quite well in the Calhoun/Orangeburg County areas.”

Let’s talk about some of the yields you’re seeing.

“Well, yields are average to better than average.  I’ve seen plenty of what I think are going to be 4,000 lb yields, 4,500 lbs, I’ve seen some 5,000 pound yields, and heard some reports of even higher.  I haven’t put my eyes on those personally, but you know how it is; talk is cheap, show me the check.”

Let’s switch gears here and talk about cotton.  As you mentioned, weather that last two years has essentially wiped out the cotton crop, and we’re finally heading to the finish line with a crop we can actually harvest.

“Yes, we’re real pleased with the cotton crop we have right now.  We will have some issues from the hurricane we had come through earlier.  Some of the plants are leaning, a lot of cotton is tangled.  But, it has defoliated well, what I’ve seen picked is picked pretty clean.  We’re having to pick a little slower than we’d like, just because we’re having to deal with downed plants and leaning plants.  But, in general, we’ve got an excellent cotton crop out here.  I’ve seen some very good yields from some of the strip trials we have going out here, that look like they’re going to be really good indicators of an overall good crop.  So, right now I’m real pleased with the cotton crop we have.”

Davis is anticipating a two-bale-an-acre average yield on the central South Carolina cotton harvest.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.