Dry Conditions Affecting Corn Development in Southeastern North Carolina

In the latest crop progress report for North Carolina for the week ended June 8th, there were more than 6 days suitable for field work.  Flue-cured tobacco was rated at 98% planted, burley at 83%, and cotton at 96%.

Kaitlyn Cranford with Moore County Extension reports that fire blight is everywhere in the apple and pear production in her area.  Low soil moisture is affecting soybean emergence and corn development.

Mark Seitz with Pender County Extension reports that blueberry harvest is going well with good to excellent yield everywhere, but drought conditions were beginning to set in during the week.  Field corn was beginning to tassel in some fields and drought stress was evident with corn curling at mid-day.

South Carolina Farmers Concerned with Dry Conditions

In the week ended June 8th, there were more than 6 days suitable for field work according to the latest crop progress report for South Carolina.  Kyle Daniel, agronomist for Georgetown County reports the much drier weather pattern during the week, coupled with dry conditions the previous week was beginning to concern farmers.  While not technically in drought status, the absence of rain two weeks in a row was beginning to cause concern, especially with corn about to tassel.

Mark Nettles, Orangeburg County agronomist reports that crops are progressing, and that moisture conditions vary across the county.  Wheat harvest is in full swing, but in many cases, producers are waiting for sufficient moisture to plant soybeans.

Soil Samples Results at No Charge

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is reminding growers and gardeners to get a head start on their planting projects by submitting soil samples now. There is no fee currently, and reports are available in one to two weeks. Also, sample information forms can now be completed and submitted online for more accurate and

The peak season for submitting soil samples is December through March, when a $4 fee is charged per sample. Off-season times are April through November, when no fees are charged.

Consumers Generally Okay with GMO’s

Consumers want to know how Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) affect health-theirs and their family’s-and are less concerned with political or moral issues surrounding GMOs. While they see the value of planting GMO crops in drought-stricken areas and they acknowledge the benefits to farmers-39 percent are concerned about potential health issues caused by GMOs in the food they eat.

Charleston|Orwig commissioned Datassential, a leading research company for the food industry, to conduct the 4th annual survey of more than 1,000 consumers nationwide. Participants were qualified as having some level of awareness of GMOs. Overall, consumers in the Charleston|Orwig survey did not support an outright ban on GMOs, but there is strong support for regulation and labeling.

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Cargill Will Be 100% Open Sow Housing by 2017

Cargill announced that its company-owned sow operations will be 100 percent group housing by the end of calendar 2015 with contract hog farms that contain Cargill-owned sows transitioning to 100 percent group housing by the end of calendar 2017.

Based upon the timetable Cargill has set up for completing the transition to group housing for gestating sows, the company will be prepared to support “early adopter” customers seeking pork products from alternative sow housing in the next few years.


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.