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This has probably been one of the strangest weather years most can remember, and Johnston County crops were not spared. Bryant Spivey, Director of Johnston County Extension says the Johnston County tobacco crop really suffered:

“It wound up being a challenging tobacco crop in Johnston County for growers. The biggest reason was the amount of rainfall during June and July. Tropical Storm Andrea was especially detrimental and we had a lot of tobacco that drowned. We also had a lot of issue with leaf diseases and lost a good portion of our crop just to target spot. We wound up with a better crop than what we thought we would. Our yield average is between 2000 and 2100 pounds, but it’s really good quality.”

The county’s cotton crop is a tale of two crops says Spivey; the one that was planted early, and the one that wasn’t:

“We have had some variability in our cotton crop so that cotton that was earlier and was able to mature and set bolls and open, some of that has been decent. But there are fields that didn’t mature in a timely manner and we wound up having a short growing season because we had an early frost. All that coupled with the cloudy weather, it has not been a good year.”

Boll lock in the late-planted cotton has been the biggest issue that will bring yields down says Spivey:

“When you have a green, immature boll and it gets a hard freeze, it stops the development of that boll, and it won’t open. If you have a very mature boll a frost might actually help it to open. But we have a lot of immature bolls at the time of the frost that will never open.”

But, with all that gloom and doom aside, the bright spot is the corn crop says Spivey:

“No doubt that we have some record corn yields this year. We have some that exceeded 300 bushels, a record for Johnston County.”

Director of Johnston County Extension, Bryant Spivey. 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.