Week of Sun and Good Weather Allow SC Farmers to Catch Up

In the latest crop progress report for South Carolina for the week ended April 27th, there were 5.8 days suitable for field work.  Soil moisture ratings were reported at 11% short, 83% adequate and 6% surplus.  William Hardee in Horry County reports that tobacco transplants are still being set out. Wheat is headed and looking strong for the most part. Some corn has emerged and doing well, other places were very wet during the time of emergence and it isn’t looking good at all. Better growing and working conditions this week. Hugh Gray, in Hampton County, reports that corn, watermelon and cantaloupe planting wrapped up during the week, and growers are readying fields to begin cotton, soybean and peanut planting. All small grains are progressing well. No problems reported in any crops yet.

Hail Sets Back Greene County Tobacco Production

There were 4.8 days suitable for field work for the week ending April 27th compared to 3.4 for the week ending April 20th. Statewide topsoil moisture levels were rated at 5% short, 72% adequate and 23% surplus.  Regional Agronomist Don Nicholson reports that tobacco transplanting got underway in a big way during the week, but rains late in the week has slowed it again and the forecast for the upcoming week does not look very conducive for transplanting. Wheat has improved with heads beginning to show. Cold soils are hampering early growth in corn. Roy Thagard with Greene County Extension reports that hail in Greene county  cost ten or so tobacco farmers 10-20% of their stand in fields that were planted. Two tobacco farmers in Walstonburg will have to reset whole fields. Four greenhouses were damaged while plants were inside. Many tobacco growers in the county are looking for plants.

Senators Ask for “Robust” Funding for Development of PEDv Vaccine

Senators Kay Hagan  of N.C., Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Al Franken of Minn., Debbie Stabenow, Mich., Joe Donnelly, Ind. and Amy Klobuchar, Minn. are asking that the fiscal 2015 agriculture appropriations bill include “robust” funding for developing a vaccine to fight the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

In a letter to Senate subcommittee leaders, the senators say the virus has killed over 6 million pigs since April 2013. The Senators wrote “If PEDv continues to spread at its current rate, many producers could struggle to remain in business”.

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.