Cool, Wet Weather in the Carolinas Keeping Corn Planters in the Barn

This time last year planters were calibrated, soil thermometers were in use, and corn seed ready to roll to plant an early crop. Not so this year says NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger:

“This wet weather has been slowing everything down. Farmers want to get top dressing on weeds and it looks like its going to push us back.”

At the winter meetings, Heiniger says he’s heard of farmers planning to increase corn acreage this year:

“The response from corn growers has been very positive so far this year. I was looking at acres in the 950,000 range, which is about 100,000 more than 2012. The plantings will depend on two things, having the weather to put the corn in and having the right seed lines and having the varieties the growers really want.”

Heiniger says that irrigation systems continue to go in around the state:

“There are still a number of farmers putting in irrigation and more orders being placed for systems. We are continuing to see a brisk pace in the instillation of irrigation, especially in the coastal plain.”

One of the anticipated events of the annual Joint Commodity Conference in January is to hear Heiniger’s weather forecast, and a recap of how he did the previous year. He says this year he’s doing pretty well, thus far:

“I wasn’t too far off. I had said it was going to be wet in January and February. And that is certainly been the case in most of the state. It has been cooler than the last 3-4 years, but not as cold as I originally predicted.

Overall the pattern that I predicted back then is holding pretty true. My outlook from that same pattern is that we will continue to have moisture here, it will be a struggle. I don’t see an easy time for growers as I see this pattern of rainfall continue into April and possibly early May.” 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.