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Cool Weather Slowing South Carolina Crops

Another week of cool, damp weather slowed field preparation, and planting operations. State soil ratings changed little for the week with the continued precipitation and were reported at 3% short, 78% adequate, and 19% surplus. There was an average of 4.7 days across South Carolina that were suitable for fieldwork.

A few growers continued with corn planting, but it was at a slower pace with many fields being too wet to accommodate work at this time. Planting was behind at 39% complete for the week, compared to 75% in 2012, and 54% for the five-year average. Small grains were off to a slower start with winter wheat was 5% headed, compared to 56% last year, and 18% for the five-year average. Conditions were 2% poor, 27% fair, 68% good, and 3% excellent. Peaches were still in mostly fair condition. Most peaches have finished blooming, and were leafing out.

NC’s Latest Crop Progress Report Reflects below Average Temperatures

There were 3.9 days suitable for field work for the week ending April 7th, compared to 4.0 days for week ending March 31st. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 3% short, 67% adequate and 30% surplus. Most of the state received rain during the week with several areas receiving over 1 inch of precipitation. Average temperatures for the week were below normal ranging from 40 to 55 degrees and feeling more like March than April. The state’s wheat crop is rated 4% poor, 26% fair, 58% good and 12% excellent. Taylor Williams with Moore County Extension reports that a freeze on March 21st injured but did not destroy the peach crop. Several early cling varieties may be lost, but there still could be a respectable main season crop. Strawberry and peach crops will both be delayed 2-3 weeks later than normal.

Farmers and Ranchers Are and Can Reduce Climate Change Effects

Climate change affects a variety of crops in many different ways – according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Climate Change Program Director Bill Hohenstein…

“Corn is particularly affected by higher temperatures and moisture availability and in addition, if those higher temperatures come during a specific time in the corn’s life cycle it can be especially problematic- during pollination or grain set.”

Hohenstein says there will be impacts on other ag production factors – too – such as disease, insect pests and weeds. Higher temperatures also affect livestock production – primarily through forage availability – but Hohenstein says livestock are like humans and are negatively impacted by high temperatures and humidity.

Senators Want Answers from EPA on Release of Private Information

The Environmental Protection Agency has now heard from Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee about the release of private personal and business information to environmental groups. In a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe – Committee Republicans said the inclusion of detailed information including the size of various cattle operations in several states, personal contact info and email addresses demonstrates a troubling disregard for the interests of both private citizens and competitive businesses. The EPA provided this information in response to a Freedom of Information request. 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.