Torrential rains earlier this week bypassed the eastern part of North Carolina and they couldn’t be happier. That doesn’t mean it didn’t rain at all, just not as much as what most of the Piedmont received. Director of Beaufort County Extension Rod Gurganus:
“After the last three years or so, with the weather that we’ve had, no, they’re not missing that rain at all. Compared to what everybody else got, we received a lot less, for the most part, we got our share of rain, for sure, but it doesn’t seem to have been quite the issue that it’s been in other parts of the state, so we’re thankful for that.
We’ve got a couple of growers that said they’d measured, four, five, maybe even six inches of rain, but it looks like we were able to handle it fairly decently this time. So, maybe that’s the difference in dry soils that can absorb some moisture versus completely saturated soils that we’ve been in for so many parts of the last three years or and that additional water was just going to pond, and wait to run off. So, it’s a little bit different world for us right now.”
Gurganus says the moderate rainfall since the fall has helped growers in the eastern part of the state produce one of the best looking wheat crops in years:
“We were able to get our wheat crop in after Matthew, it seems that the rain just stopped. For the most part, after Matthew last year, we were able to get wheat planted last year, we had a couple of periods during the winter where we had some rainfall, but nothing like the last three winters. So, our wheat crop…it dodged a freeze as well, that was another important factor that hit the Piedmont hard. But, I think we managed to dodge that for the most part, and our wheat crop is, by far, the best looking wheat we’ve had in years.”
And moderate weather has allowed farmers to do some much needed land recovery work:
“The dry conditions led to a lot of field work, the guys were able to get out and do some land leveling, drainage work, installing drainage systems, drain tile, so, we’ve had a good winter for that, and it’s carried right into planting season this year. We’ve had really good planting conditions with rainfall at just the right time, and in just the right amounts, not to hinder us much, but to five us the moisture we needed for good seed germination, and the corn crop is up, for the most part, we’re still planting a little bit, but for the most part we’re about finished. That crop looks great, we’ve got some soybeans up, already.
Things progress along, if this pattern holds, we are looking forward to some good things this year.”
Director of Beaufort County Extension, Rod Gurganus.