Carolina Wheat Crop Not So Bad After All

Prior to April the Carolinas were in line for an above average wheat crop, then it started raining and wouldn’t stop. By June, producers were into salvage mode. Dan Weathington, Executive Director of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association says that salvage mode actually produced some impressive bushels per acre this year:

“We had about 960,000 acres of wheat planted, and everywhere I’ve been the past week they are saying they averaged 60-75 bushels. I think we have lost about 60,000 acres to the weather. Along the coast and in the blacklands, they didn’t have the whole field losses like other places.”

And Weathington says there’s no shame in a 65 bushel to the acre average:

“We have plenty of pigs, turkeys and chickens that like wheat. If it hadn’t have rained, we would have a state average of over 80 bushels per acres. We just try to make lemons from lemonade.”

Millers and processors around the state being willing to take wet grain reduced the number of acres that would have been abandoned according to Weathington:

“Our hat is off to our millers and processors who have worked with the farmers to take wet and sprouted grain. A big thank you goes to all the grain receivers across the state because they really did what they could to make the best of very bad situations.”

NC State wheat specialist Dr. Randy’ Weisz’ wheat yield contestants were scarce in the beginning, but a few more stepped up in the end, according to Weathington:

“About two weeks ago, we only had about 6 entries in the wheat yield contest, and the final version had 33. Sanderson Farms in Wayne county had the high yield of 117.8 bushels.”

Dan Weathington, Executive Director the NC Small Grain Growers Association. 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.