Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending April 13, 2014.
It was warmer than normal this week for the Old Dominion. Day time highs ranged between 79 to 83 degrees. Precipitation varied by location with areas receiving anywhere from 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches of rain. Days suitable for fieldwork were 5.2. The warm weather this week contributed to good growth in the small grain crops, but wheat headed was still behind the 5 year average for this time of year.
The first of Virginia’s strawberry crop was harvested this week, with the expectation that the bulk of the harvest would begin in May. Corn plantings were delayed as growers waited for the soil temperatures to warm up. Other farming activities for the week included preparing vegetable beds, treating wheat with fungicides, and preparing cropland with herbicides, fertilizers, and lime.
REPORTER COMMENTS BY COUNTY
Comments are based on comments reported by extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.
ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas A Stanley) Warm temperatures this week brought the first significant growth period of the year for spring crops and pastures. All field work is behind schedule due to cold wet conditions in previous weeks.
AMELIA (Joan Poore) Monday, April 7, rain all day steady, probably an inch/plus over all. Windy and warmer by end of the week, drying topsoil. No planted crops to date.
AMHERST (John Benner) Daily temperatures steadily increased into the weekend. All days were suitable for field work.
CHESTERFIELD (Joan Poore) March had plenty of moisture / temperatures were below normal or average. April 7 – a steady rainy day, an inch plus of rainfall, by the end of the week. Windy and much warmer, above average. No crops planted to date.
GOOCHLAND/POWHATAN (Rachel Groose) Rough winter.
NELSON (Michael LaChance) Apple orchards are in bloom. First sustained appearance (biofix) for oriental fruit moth (OFM) occurred on April 12. Timely fruit insect and disease information available during growing season here. Vineyards buds remain dormant.
GLOUCESTER /MIDDLESEX/MATHEWS (David Moore) Corn planting poised to break open next week if weather stays warm and dry. Some fields being planted. Most folks still applying herbicides, fertilizer, and lime for corn and some soybeans. Wheat continues to be topdressed and have fungicides and micros added. Seed corn deliveries continue. Lots of fields still too wet to work. The process is slow and has been delayed by about two weeks to this point. Some plastic being laid for vegetables. Plants in greenhouses look good. Vegetable planting may continue on schedule if weather holds.
LANCASTER/NORTHUMBERLAND (Landre Toulson) Everyone is a little behind due to the long cold winter.
LUNENBURG (Lindy Tucker) Though things (wheat, grass, etc.) began greening up within the last few weeks, they really did not start growing good until this week. Feeding less hay. Land is being worked.
BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg) The warm up has everything turning green. Fields are being prepared for planting. Gardens are really starting to go in as well. The commodity programs are wrapping up for the winter/spring.
CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.) A late start to corn planting this year because of wet field conditions. Plenty of moisture in soil now. Wheat crop looks very good.
PRINCE GEORGE (Scott Reiter) This week growers were finishing nitrogen applications to wheat after about 1 inch of rain on Tuesday. Limited corn planting has occurred with cool temperatures and rain. The next week should provide an opportunity to make real progress. Other activities included spreading fertilizer, land preparation, and applying burndown herbicides to corn fields.
VIRGINIA BEACH CITY (Roy D. Flanagan) The first strawberries were picked this week; the bulk of the acreage will begin being harvested during the first week of May. The drying conditions this week allowed for some good progress in the fields with fertilizer and herbicide application, as well as tillage and planting activities.