Most of this past week’s field work occurred during the first few days, before the bottom fell out of the sky again. Heavy rains late in the week made it impossible for work to continue. Record breaking cool temperatures have also slowed crop development. Soil moisture ratings were reported at 1% short, 53% adequate and 46% surplus. There was a statewide average of 4.0 days suitable for any fieldwork across South Carolina. The CORN crop was 99% doughed, compared to 100% last year and the 5-year average. By the end of the week, 82% of the crop had matured, behind both last year, and the five-year average. Corn harvest continued, but at a much slower pace with 18% of stalks cut, compared to 38% last year, and 25% for the five-year average. Ninety-nine percent of the COTTON crop had squared compared to 100% last year and 99% for the five-year average. Columbia metro was the big winner in the weekly rainfall total with 5.57 inches, putting the year-to-date total at 42.53, which is 12.7 inches above normal. But the largest departure from normal continues to be Anderson, which received 1.09 inches of rain pushing the year-to-date total to just below 50 inches, 21.3 above normal.
Parts of Central NC Welcomed Last Weeks Rain
There were 4.4 days suitable for field work for the week ending August 18th, compared to 5.3 days for the week ending August 11th. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 7% short, 61% adequate and 32% surplus. Average temperatures for the week ranged from 1 to 6 degrees below normal. The cooler temperatures were unexpected for the month of August. Once again the state received wide coverage of precipitation with some areas receiving over 4 inches of rain this week. The wet conditions again caused delays for farmers. Regional Agronomist Don Nicholson reports that Recent rains were welcome due to dry conditions. The rain will aid in filling out crops like grain sorghum, soybeans, peanuts and tobacco. Corn harvest has begun, moistures are high, 24-28%, but yields and quality are very good so far. And Brian Parrish with Harnett County Extension reports that the Tobacco crop is maturing faster than normal due to excessive rains. Growers harvesting as fast as barn space will allow with Tobacco harvest complete in some fields. Corn is drying down well and looks to be an excellent crop. Early planted soybeans also looks good.
PEDV Spread Slowing Down
An outbreak of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – or PEDV – first identified in the Midwest in May has spread to 18-states – but the National Pork Board reports anecdotal information from the field indicates the spread of the virus is slowing down. NPB Vice President of Science and Technology Dr. Paul Sundberg says there have been reports where finishing floors that had been infected have been cleaned and disinfected – and pigs that were negative for the disease have come back and stayed negative.