In the latest crop progress report released by USDA in North Carolina there were 4.8 days suitable for field work for the week ending August 4th same as for the previous week ending July 28th. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 6% short, 64% adequate and 30% surplus. Most areas received below normal average temperatures again this week. The eastern part of the state received heavier rainfall this week compared to the western part of the state. However, rainfall was wide spread this week. Farmers continue to report delays and crop damage due to excess rain this season.
Excess Moisture Continues to Affect Crops
Stephen Bishop with Cleveland NRCS reports that several vegetable and berry producers reported losses due to fruit swelling because of too much rain. Most late soybeans have emerged and are looking pretty good. However, in low areas of fields, some soybeans are stunted and yellow from waterlogged soil.
Wendy Drake Burgess with Hertford County Extension reports that they are still trudging along. Cotton and peanuts look ok and the first priming of tobacco is being pulled. Lots of late planted soybeans. Most likely not going be the best year.
SC Crops Make Progress in Week with Little Rain
Several days of sunshine and near normal temperatures allowed fields to begin to dry up and gave producers the opportunity to make substantial progress in various field activities. However, scattered mid-week thundershowers once again caused activities to come to a brief halt. Soil moisture ratings were reported at 5% short, 78% adequate and 17% surplus. There was a statewide average of 5.6 days suitable for any fieldwork across South Carolina.
The corn crop was 96% doughed by the end of the week, slightly ahead of the 5-year average of 94%. By the end of the week, 47% of the crop had matured, well behind both last year and the five-year averages.
Eighty-eight percent of the cotton crop had squared compared to 95% for the five-year average. The plants are reaching a good height but bolls are slow to develop.
Not All Weather in 2012 was Record Breaking
Dr. Thomas Karl of NOAA's Climate Data Center says some climate indicators for 2012 may set records others do not. Karl says it's important to look at long term trends rather than year to year data.
“Certainly not every variable we looked at broke a record, but there were some notable indicators. That included things like greenhouse gas levels, the stratospheric temperatures were lowest on record and the ocean heat content and sea level rise were both records.”