Farmers need to watch for potassium issues in flue-cured tobacco

This has been a wet spring, with weather affecting some crops early this season, including flue-cured tobacco planted in sandier soils.

Agronomists with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in and near the coastal plains are reporting some leaching losses of fertilizer from excessive rainfall. Specifically, they are seeing potassium losses in fertilizer that was applied earlier to the flue-cured tobacco crop in these soils.

Additional application of fertilizer at this time should be considered carefully on a field-by-field basis, considering the development of the crop, fertilizer applied along with its timing and method of application, and soil type.

Growers with concerns about the development of their crop are advised to contact their NCDA&CS regional agronomists. A list of regional agronomists can be found at The Agronomic Division offers nematode assay, plant tissue testing, and soil testing that can assist in management of flue-cured tobacco and other crops.

New Phone App Moves Consumers Closer to Locally Grown Food

A fun and innovative new way to learn more about restaurants serving South Carolina-grown food has been unveiled in Charleston’s Marion Square. Using Blippar, an augmented reality and image recognition app, users can interact with The Fresh is Best Living Wall to watch videos spotlighting featured chefs from around South Carolina who emphasize using fresh, local produce and products when planning their menus.

An extension of the Certified South Carolina Grown branding program, Fresh on the Menu features local restaurants whose menus incorporate agricultural products and produce grown and made in South Carolina. The program is also supports South Carolina’s farmers and agricultural communities – helping boost the State’s largest economic sector.

Senate Schedule Tight for Vote On GMO labeling compromise

Supporters of the Genetically Modified Organism labeling agreement reached on June 23rd are hoping it gets to the Senate floor this week, but the schedule is full. Work on the Senate schedule includes things like votes on Zika, military construction, and the VA. It also includes work on the commerce, science, and justice fiscal 2017 appropriations bill. Debate continues over add-ons in the appropriations bill aimed at curbing gun violence and there’s no final vote in sight yet. Food and agriculture groups are asking members to contact their senators and tell them to support the GMO labeling bill, which is the product of months of negotiations. The House is out until July fifth. 

Weather Outlook through Early July

USDA meteorologist, Mark Brusberg, notes warmer temperatures in the Deep South, and above normal precipitation in much of the Midwest for the period of July 5 – 11.

“The 8 to 14 day outlook predicts warmer than normal temperatures in the western part of the United States and across the deep south.  This mean that normal summer warmth could be expected across the deep south.  The rainfall, on the other hand, promises to be a good outlook for the Corn Belt, they’re expecting near to above normal rainfall.  The locations that look like they’re going to be below normal… parts of the deep south near to below normal rainfall.”'

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.