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Corn the Bright Spot for NC Row Crops

Corn seems to have snapped out of its rocky start, and Kent Messick, Chief of NCDA’s Agronomics Division explains right now it appears the crop is headed into a great finish:

“Well, I’d say from the crop prospective for North Carolina, corn is the bright spot on a state-wide basis. Yes, it did get off to a wet start, a slow start because of cooler temperatures and cloudy weather and such, but I’d say of all the crops, corn probably looks the best and has been impacted the least by the unusually wet weather that we have endured this year.”

If Messick had to pick an area, corn in the western part of the state is the poorest, overall:

“Probably the worst area may be the far western part of the state. A lot of that crop is planted on bottoms, land which they have had at least two significant flooding issues, west of Asheville, then north of Asheville up through Wilkes County and such where corn is grown on bottoms or hillsides for corn silage and such.”

Corn in the Piedmont, on the other hand, looks very good overall:

“As you move into the Piedmont, I’d say that some of its corn, over all looks very good, especially if it was planted on time. That has gone through pollination or is going through pollination at this time, and we just have not seen the high heat that we’ve kind of gotten used to in North Carolina during that critical pollination stage. So, I’d say corn in the Piedmont generally looks good.”

As far as corn in the Coastal Plain, corn in areas there has an unusual problem according to Messick:

“You get into the Coastal Plain, I’d say corn runs anywhere from good to excellent. Probably the bigger concern for the Coastal Plain and even out into the Blacklands to the coast, the crop is rather shallow-rooted this year. This isn’t a major problem as long as we don’t have any major tropical storms or hurricanes. If we had that kind of situation, we could be in trouble.”

But, in all areas of the state, de-nitrification is an issue in some fields.

Chief of NCDA’s Agronomic Division, Kent Messick 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.