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Central North Carolina Sweet Potato Crop a Bin Buster


The tobacco crop in central North Carolina started out being one of the best many growers had had the opportunity to be associated with.  Here, late in the season, it’s become plagued with so many problems, producers are just ready for it to be gone and be over.  Area Agronomist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Don Nicholson:

“I think that’s a good assessment there.  A lot of leaf diseases have shown up in the last two or three weeks, and tobacco that’s left in the field, it’s really taken a toll on some of it, I’m not going to say all of it, but there’s a toll being taken. 

At one point, through my part of the world, we had one of the better crops I’ve ever seen in the field, and through heat and drought conditions back a month ago, to big rainfalls from the tropical systems, and the crop has become a challenge and the leaf is suffering. 

So, hopefully the farmers will make a good stab at getting the crop out and having good quality, but it’s getting to be more of a challenge every day.”

There is one really nice bright spot in Nicholson’s region, that’s sweet potatoes:

“Our sweet potato crop coming out of the field looks great, yielding great.  I can’t speak for other parts of the state, but it seems to be a jam up crop in my region, it’s looking really good right now.  and we’ve had a really good corn crop on top of that, too.  I’m not saying we’re going to hit Dr. Heiniger’s magic number of 150 bu/a but if we don’t hit it, it ought to scare it a little bit, anyhow.  But, most of the corn, it’s out of the field and some really good yields, I’ve heard.  Really good looking corn in the field.”

Rains this month have given the peanut crop in Nicholson’s region a chance to be a really good one:

“Peanut crop, I think some of the rain we’ve had here in the past few weeks have helped the crop, we had a good tap root crop set around the tap root, and hopefully these rains will help us get some limb crop out there and get those yields up.”

Nicholson says the cotton crop is inconsistently good as well:

“Cotton is kind of all over the place, I’ve heard of some lower yields, around a bale, but I’ve heard 1,000-1,200 pounds, too.  I hope the 1,000-1,200 pounds is the rule rather than the exception.”

Regional Agronomist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Don Nicholson.'

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.