South Carolina Cotton Harvest Still Lags Behind Normal

In the final crop progress report for South Carolina weather conditions were favorable for harvesting fall crops and planting small grains in the week ended November 24th. Soil moisture ratings were reported at 12% very short, 57% short, and 31% adequate, and there were more than 6 days suitable for field work across the state.

Cotton harvest was 73% completed by the end of the week, still well behind the five-year average of 85%. 98% of the soybean crop had matures and harvest was 53% complete, again lagging well behind the five-year average of 60%. Winter wheat seeding was 71% complete, ahead of last year and the five-year average.

The highest weekly rainfall total as of midnight Sunday was 15 one-hundredths at Greer, giving that reporting station a total for 2013 thus far of 59;74 inches, which is 17.5 inches above normal. Only the North Myrtle Beach reporting station is showing a deficit for 2013.

Field Work Continues to Progress across the Tar Heel State

In North Carolina’s latest crop progress report for conditions through midnight Sunday, November 24th, there were just shy of 6 days suitable for fieldwork across the state, about the same as the week before. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 2% very short, 35% short, 61% adequate and 2% surplus, similar to levels the previous week. Julia Houck with the Ashe County FSA reports that Christmas tree harvest is progressing nicely. Weather has been very good for harvesting the trees and Producers are grading burley.

Tommy R. Grandy with Currituck County Extension reports that Soybean harvest nearing completion and wheat planting is near 100 percent complete.

Mac Malloy with Robeson County Extension reports that Cotton, sorghum, and soybean harvest continues. Yields are up and down. Rain later in the week will be welcomed.

Congress Needs Plan B for Farm Bill

American Farm Bureau Director Dale Moore says AFBF is still pressing for a 2013 Farm Bill – but admits lawmakers need a back-up plan amid the real possibility of another year without a farm bill. The four farm bill principals were set to conference by phone late Monday to try again for a deal – but Moore says Congress must be ready for the worst if there’s no farm bill in the few remaining legislative days next month…

“If its going to come into the new year and they have some sort of timeline in mind when they will get done, then at some level there needs to be a little bit of thinking about what are we going to do to make sure we have the bridge built so we don’t unnecessarily disrupt the process.”

Congress traditionally meets only a few days in January before the President’s State of the Union address – and the calendar quickly fills up with other business – raising fears of more farm bill delays.

South Carolina Pecans in Short Supply

As the holiday season approaches, South Carolina Extension agents are saying heavy rains earlier this year have put a big dent in the state's pecan crop, and prices are likely headed up.

Perry Arant shells pecans for small growers at the OMC Feeds company in central South Carolina. He says his store room should be bursting, but has been pretty empty in recent weeks.

Arant – and other processors – say the heavy spring rains hit pecan trees hard this spring, preventing good nuts from forming.'

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.