Strawberry Growers Don’t Like Rain


Many producers are happy to see a little rain, but strawberry growers aren’t among them.  North Carolina Department of Agriculture Regional Agronomist, Don Nicholson:

“That’s correct, this red and pink fruit on the bushes right now…this rain is not what they want to see.  Going into the weekend, it may be a little sparse out there, they’ll have to spend a lot of money on labor going through and picking off fruit that’s really soft, and it’s just not a good situation.

Strawberry growers are different from other people, they just as soon see it not rain for a month, month and a half after the strawberries start bearing, that’s the way the season has gone thus far…it’s been up and down since the beginning.”

Of course, there’s other producers in your area that are doing other things, tobacco…a lot of tobacco was already in the ground when we had heavy rains in late April, early May.  Let’s talk a little bit about how that’s going…

“We had a lot of tobacco, probably 30-40% of the crop was set before we had that six inch, plus or minus rain that we had.  Tobacco has done okay, you can definitely see the sandy streaks in the field, a lot of leaching in those areas, plus herbicide injury here and there, where the rain took the herbicide down into the root zone, picked the herbicide up.  Some of that is kind of sitting still, but we’ve had some warm weather, folks have put fertilizer back to it, plowed it, it’s responding.  We’ve got very good looking tobacco in areas.  For the most part, everyone is through setting in my area.

“So, this season is moving on, got really good stands this year, greenhouses turned out really well, we had good weather early on for the greenhouses, blue-birdie sunny weather and the greenhouses took off and did very well.

“We’ve also got peanuts, a big majority of the peanuts have been planted, soybean planting started in earnest last week.  Corn is looking really good right now, again, you can see the sandy streaks in the field where some leaching went on, we have some yellow corn. But, most of it is slowly turning back green, it’s getting some roots beneath it, getting some of the groceries that were moved down below the root zone.” 

We’ll hear more from NCDA Regional Agronomist Don Nicholson on the emerging cotton crop tomorrow on Today’s Topic.

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.