Heavy Rainfall in North & South Carolina Slows Crop Progress
In the latest crop progress report for North Carolina heavy rainfall in the western part of the state caused crop damage, while strawberry harvest began in other parts of the state. Cool, damp weather increased the potential for disease and insect damage to crops. However, pastures and crops currently remain in good condition. Corn is reported at 89% planted compared to 93% last year and 92% on the five-year average, and 70% emerged, compared to 80% last year and 67% on the five year average. Cotton is 12% planted compared to 28% last year and 28% on the five-year average. Flue-cured tobacco is a bit ahead of schedule with 66% planted compared to 71% last year and 64% on the five year average.
Producers Reporting Poor Corn Germination Due to Heavy Rains in SC
In the latest crop progress report, heavy rains covered most of the sate, both early and late in the week. Standing water made fields look more like late in places, and conditions on most crops declined from excessive moisture. Planting slowed to a crawl due to the wet weather. Soil moisture for South Carolina was rated at 70% adequate, and 30% surplus.
Corn planting continued, but at a much slower pace, and some producers are reporting poor germination. Some early corn will soon need to be side dressed with nitrogen, and wet soil conditions may hinder these timely applications. Planting was 92% complete, compared to 99% in 2012, and 98% for the five-year average. The crop was 78% emerged, compared to 92% last year, and 88% for the five-year average.
Senate Immigration Reform Bill Mark-Up Set for Thursday
The Senate Farm Bill mark up may be delayed again risking a possible conflict with immigration reform for floor time in June. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow was to have her farm bill proposal ready last weekend for possible committee action tomorrow. But two major farm groups say it never happened. American Farm Bureau Director Dale Moore says the cost is key. Making a mix of revenue coverage, target prices and marketing loans fit available dollars.
“The latest that we have heard is that the chair did not sit down with the mark up package with her staff as was anticipated. We have heard that some of that may be tied to waiting for the Congressional Budget office to be able to catch up with the different things that they need to have done.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee has already scheduled a mark-up of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act for Thursday morning. This bill includes farmworker provisions negotiated by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. Amendments to the bill were to be filed and circulated by 5 pm Tuesday.
Virginia’s Farmers Markets Open for Business
With the arrival of May, farm markets are opening for business across Virginia. The state has more than 220 farmers' markets. That ranks that state ninth in the nation. While some operate year-round, most markets offering locally grown produce are open from early may through late fall.