Central South Carolina farmers are behind in planting this spring due to torrential rains the latter part of April. Calhoun County’s Charles Davis says not only did some fields drown around Elloree, but the excessive moisture kept producers out of the field for as long as two weeks. Davis with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison:
5-16 Charles Davis 2:47 …”now.”
“We’re actually running a little behind schedule from where we’d like to be right now. The heavy rains at that end of April, anywhere from 6 inches to 14 inches in one night, and the next day period, really slowed us down, created some problems for us on corn. We had a lot of corn fields in standing water and under water for two days, some fields you couldn’t even see the top of the plant, and the plants were a foot tall.
“So, it was pretty difficult, but the biggest problem was it just kept us from getting back in the field to get back to planting, so now we’re playing catch-up. We’re moving along, we’re happy to see sunshine, actually we were happy to see a little rain over the weekend, believe it or not, we were getting a little dry.”
As far as the corn you have standing now, how is that looking?
“The corn down in the lower part of the county, actually in Orangeburg County, but in lower Calhoun County, around Lone Star and Elloree, took a pretty big hit. There’s a few farms down there that took a pretty big hit. There are a few farms there that are on really flat land, that water just stood on for a few days, it looks pretty bad. Unfortunately, it just had its top-dress/side dress nitrogen application on Friday before the rains on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. So, we lost most of that application, or at least somewhat made it unavailable, and those plant’s root systems were hammered really hard by all the standing water.
“So, there’s several hundred to thousands of acres of corn down there that looks pretty bad right now. So, we’ll see, it’ll probably be a crop insurance situation towards the end of the year.”
Do you have any corn that wasn’t so adversely affected by rain?
“The rest of our corn crop looks pretty good, honestly we’re fairly pleased with what we see. We think the possibility, or potential is there for pretty good yields, if we can continue to get rain a long and along.
“We’ve had a few small hail storms come through, banged up some corn, nothing terrible, we’ll get over that okay. We had a late cold snap that slowed things down a little bit, it suffered for a week or so then came out of it. It’s been through trial by fire, and hopefully we’ll come out of it and still have a decent crop at the end of the year.”
Peanuts…some of the peanuts got that really heavy rain on them, but they seem to have fared a little better than corn did?
“Peanuts, as long as you don’t put them in standing water for two or three days, they’ll come out okay. We have had some that we’ve had to replant, I looked at some acreage that had a few bottoms in the field, and the acreage was too large to ignore, and we decided to just go ahead and get back in there and replant.
“But, other than that, peanuts are up, look pretty good, everything pretty much came up out the ground the way we wanted except for the bottoms that had standing water in them.
“Other than the thrips, thrips are terrible right now, we’re seeing really high thrips numbers in both cotton and peanuts, so we have some concerned about spotted wild virus that we’ll run into that we’re probably picking up from thrips right now.”
Clemson Extension Agent in Calhoun County, Charles Davis.