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Carolina Crops See Little Damage from Sandy

It looks like Hurricane Sandy only dealt North & South Carolina agriculture a glancing blow, with no real lasting damage. NCDA’s Chief of the Agronomic Division, Kent Messick:

“We dodged a bullet. As of yesterday, out in the southern coastal plains, Columbus and Bladen Counties, they had 1-2” of rain. They really didn’t have any major issues there. As you got farther into Sampson and Duplin Counties, the rainfall totals were about 4 inches. But many of those areas were really dry so they were glad to get some rain.”

Of the crops left in the field this late in the season, cotton had the most to lose, and Messick says it appears to have fared pretty well:

“Even at Carteret county, the rainfall totals were only about four inches. The vast majority of the corn in the coastal plain is already harvested. About 15% of peanuts remain to be dug and harvested. The cotton crop, there is probably quite a bit yet to be harvested, but we didn’t have the extreme winds that we had with Irene. They are only looking at about a 100 lb loss.”

As for wheat, there is a bit of concern, but if the weather clears, as it’s forecast to do in the next few days, Messick says it should be okay, too:

“There is some concern about wheat being planted. It’s much cooler than it was, but a lot of those areas were drier than they were comfortable with as far as thinking about planting wheat. So with temperatures moving back into the upper 50s the wheat crop should be fine.”

Chief of NCDA’s Agronomic Division, Kent Messick on Inside Agriculture is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.