Crops in Central Carolina Faring Well

Crops in Central Carolina Faring Well

A typical Carolina summer is underway; high temperatures, high humidity and sporadic showers.  Don Nicholson, area agronomist with North Carolina Department of Agriculture says crops in his area are faring well:

“Even though we would like to see the temperature go down a bit, the crops are befitting from the heat. The cotton is growing and maturing. The tobacco is looking good. Though its not faring well on the sandy lands.”

Nicholson and I have both seen corn rolling in the mid-day heat.  Nicholson says this is not what we want to see:

“The bad part is that some of the corn is not waiting until the mid-day heat, its rolling at night. A lot of the corn planted on lighter land that is probably suited better for something else. There is some good corn out there though, where it rained and didn’t drown out early.”

If the weather man is to be trusted, the temperature range shouldn’t be harmful for corn that’s tasseling:

“Right now the heat situation is not bad because they are calling for upper 80s to 90s. So that’s not a big problem with the tassling. When you get to 96 and above you run into problems with the pollen  dying before it makes it down to where the ear will be.”

As far as cotton goes…last summer it was difficult to find a string of warm, sunny days for cotton to accumulate heat units.  This year isn’t looking to have that particular problem says Nicholson, but that doesn’t mean the crop is trouble-free:

“It was cold early and that slowed it down. We also had a heavy thrip population that slowed it down too. But we are getting heat and moisture and with nitrogen it will be growing well.

Nicholson says wheat harvest should be wrapping up in the next few days in his area:

“We had a lot better wheat crop than people were expecting.”'

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.