Lack of Moisture Could Change Production Plans in the Carolinas

As we heard from NC State Climatologist Dr. Ryan Boyles on Friday, farmers in the Carolinas are starting to get very concerned about moisture, or the lack there of. Kent Messick, Section Chief for Field Services for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture:
 

“It’s probably the warm weather and the lack of soil moisture is a real concern across all crops at this point. Even for horticultural crops like blueberries or strawberries if we should have late freezes, normally they can use irrigation of water to protect the plant. But, even the resources for ponds and holding areas for water just don’t have a lot of resources there to draw upon. I think the blueberry folks are particularly concerned about this. We’re talking about large acreages there, it takes a minimum amount of water, and at this point their irrigation ponds just aren’t high enough.”
In fact, concerns are so high that in the southeastern part of the state, Messick says that there’s a construction boom in the center pivot irrigation business:
 

In fact, concerns are so high that in the southeastern part of the state, Messick says that there’s a construction boom in the center pivot irrigation business:

“I haven’t heard of anything in regards to that. The only change that I might have had some hints on would be because of three or four years of drought in North Carolina, corn acreage may drop some this year because input costs are high, so there’s a lot of center-pivot irrigation systems being installed in southeastern North Carolina. We’ve seen a tremendous construction booms in center-pivots there, because of moisture stress and trying to plan ahead and trying to do what they can, because of high-value crops such as peanuts and corn.”
Messick goes on to explain that while there’s time yet, some producers may be making changes to their production plans this year due to the lack of moisture.
 

Kent Messick, Section Chief for Field Services for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture
 


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