In their second-to-last crop progress report for the season for the week ended November 17th sunny days and continued dry weather kept conditions favorable for field work in the Palmetto State. Soil moisture ratings were reported at 11% very short, 47% short, and 42% adequate. Cotton bolls were 100% open by the end of the week and 61% of the crop was harvested, still lagging behind last year and the five-year average. Peanut harvest was completed during the week and the soybean crop had completely turned color with 92% having dropped leaves. Winter wheat seeding was 50% complete, slightly ahead of last year and the five-year average. There was a statewide average of 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork across South Carolina.
NC Soil Moisture Levels Remain Steady
In the latest crop progress report for North Carolina through Sunday, November 17th, there were just shy of 6 days suitable for field work across the state, about the same as the previous week. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 2% very short, 31% short, 65% adequate and 2% surplus, similar to the previous week’s levels.
Brian Parrish with Harnett County Extension reports that Farmers are very busy seeding wheat and small grains. Soybean and cotton harvest are both well under way. Cotton yields across Harnett County were severely affected by wet Spring and wet Summer weather, with bolls in the upper half of the plant not opening. Some livestock producers busy planting cool season grasses, securing hay for winter, and securing last minute bulls for Fall breeding season.
Roy Thagard with Greene County Extension says that growers are down to picking just beans and cotton in his area, and that cotton yields, as told to him are all over the board. Late planted soybeans do not look good in the pods and may return low yields due to late planting.
Momentum There for Completing Farm Bill This Year
Farm Bill conferees are starting to make some progress on a new farm bill – according to the American Farm Bureau's chief Washington lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher. She says the four principals have been meeting and understand everyone will have to give a little bit…
“The way these committees work, is that everyone stands up and gives their two minute speech. Then you get the staff working through all of the easy issues. Then when you get to the big issues, you get the members together. That is what is happening with these four principles. It is a step in the right direction toward getting something done. Still some big ticket items to take care of, but I think there is some momentum to get it done this year.”
Plan Ahead for 2014 Automatic Spending Reductions
The 2011 Budget Control Act mandates federal agencies implement automatic, annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits – so USDA’s Farm Service Agency wants to remind farmers and ranchers who participate in FSA programs to plan ahead for Fiscal Year 2014 automatic spending reductions – known as sequestration – at the rate of 7.2-percent.