Warm Dry Days Push SC Crops Forward

In South Carolina’s latest crop progress report the majority of the week was fill with warm, breezy days and cool nights which allowed harvesting activities to proceed with few interruptions. Showers at the end of the week were welcome. Soil moisture levels were rated at 5% very short, 53% short, 41% adequate and 1% surplus. The cotton crop is reported at 97% bolls set compared to 100% on the five-year average. By the end of the week 44% of the bolls were open way behind the five-year average of 67%. Crop conditions were rated at 6% very poor, 11% poor, 45% fair, 36% good, and 2% excellent. Corn was 82% harvested by the end of the week compared to 92% on the five-year average, 13% of peanuts were harvested right in line with the five-year average of 14%. The Charleston reporting station received the most precipitation for the week at 1.61 inches boosting the year-to-date total to 48.77 inches, 8.4 inches above normal.

Smithfield Sale Approved by Shareholders

It’s official: Smithfield Foods shareholders today approved selling the company to Shuanghui International, a global investment consortium that already owns a major share in Chinese meat processing giant Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co.

At a special meeting of Smithfield shareholders held today, more than 96 percent of the votes cast were voted in favor of the transaction, which represents approximately 76 percent of Smithfield's total outstanding shares of common stock as of the record date for the special meeting.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects to complete the combination by September 26, 2013.

NC’s Latest Crop Progress Report Shows Lower than Average Temperatures

In the latest crop progress report for North Carolina released by USDA, there were 6 days suitable for field work for the week ended September 22nd, compared to just over 6 the week before. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 3% very short, 28% short, 65% adequate and 4% surplus. Average temperatures were below normal for most of the state. The reporting station at Clayton received the most precipitation for the week at just over 4 inches resulting in a total of over 50 ½ inches for the year, which is about 151/2 inches above normal.

Mac Malloy with Robeson County Extension reports conditions have been dry with crops starting to show signs of drought stress in the last week on light soils. Recent rainfall was very welcome as late planted soybeans are continuing to grow. Corn yields are up and down just depending on low spots in the field.

NCGA Receives Record Entries into National Corn Yield Contest

The National Corn Growers Association's National Corn Yield Contest set a new entry record in 2013 with 8,827. This surpasses the previous record of 8,431 entries, set in 2011, and far outstrips the 8,263 entries received in 2012.

Ag Secretary Sees More Problems with Farm Bill

The farm bill faces yet another hurdle. The nutrition title passed by the House last week doesn’t include a measure to combine it with the farm-only bill passed in July. That means the House must hold another vote to merge the bills and then ask the Senate for a conference. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will also need to reappoint conferees before the House can appoint its own.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it just leads to further delays…

“It is going to require another vote and that is likely going to delay what has already been delayed too long, which is an appointment by the House to a conference committee with the Senate to begin working out the differences between the two versions.”

Vilsack says that could push the conference process well into October – past the deadline for expiration… Vilsack believes there is no support for an extension.


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