South Carolina Crops Advance in Warm, Dry Weather

In South Carolina’s latest crop progress report for the week ended September 8th, the Palmetto state experienced a week filled with lots of sun and no significant rainfall, which allowed most crops to make improvements in condition and yield potential, as well as gave producers the opportunity to cat up on various field activities. Soil moisture ratings were reported at 2% short, 80% adequate and 1% surplus. There was almost 7 days suitable for field work, by far the most this summer. The corn crop was 99% matured. Harvesting activities were able to proceed at a good pace and by the end of the week, 52% of the crop was harvested, still lagging behind the five year averages, of 74%. Cotton bolls were 89% set, compared to 98% set for the five year average. With the crop being planted later than usual due to the wet spring and summer, only 13% of the bolls were open by the end of the week, well behind the five year average of 36%.

North Carolina Enjoys Dry Week

In the latest crop progress report for North Carolina there were almost 6 days suitable for field work, the most in quite some time. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 13% short, 79% adequate and 8% surplus. Most of the state received rain on Tuesday with many eastern counties receiving over an inch of precipitation. Tobacco harvest is significantly ahead of five year averages. Soybean and cotton development remains behind last year averages and the 5-year averages. Carl Pless with Cabarrus County Extension reports that last week was the longest period of dry weather this summer which allowed farmers to harvest hay. Yields are good, however quality is less than desired as dallis grass and crab grass are plentiful in many fescue stands and are more mature than desired. Mature corn is drying down as harvest begins.

Wayne County Extension says excellent yields are being reported from corn harvest compared to previous years. Most growers have two to three weeks remaining of harvesting tobacco. There is a lot of variability in terms of soybean, cotton, and grain sorghum condition due to excessive rainfall and below average temperatures.

USDA Doubles Survey

When early season crop reports came out of USDA – marketers took them with a grain of salt and claimed we wouldn't have a clear sense about this year's crop until the September report. Well – the September report comes out this Thursday – and Lance Hoenig with USDA says they've increased the sample size and included farmers in the survey…

“We contacted about 11,500 farmers across the country asking what they expect their yields to be.”

Hoenig says they've nearly doubled the number of samples they're looking at…

“For corn, its just over 1900 samples in ten states, for soybeans over 1800 in eleven states, and the crop is much more mature than it was back in August.”

Samples will be sent to a USDA lab in St. Louis to analyze grain size and weight. USDA will release that report at noon eastern on Thursday. 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.