Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending May 25, 2014.
Virginia experienced seasonable temperatures and a few isolated showers this week. Some places experienced 3/4 of an inch of rain, but the majority of the Old Dominion received no rain. Days suitable for fieldwork were 5.9. Dry weather was welcomed by those cutting hay. Hay yields were reported down from normal, but quality was favorable. Those waiting to cut hay to optimize on yields were expected to have poorer quality.
Good progress was made on corn, soybean, cotton, and peanut plantings this week; growers were still behind the 5 year average, but have double their efforts to make up for the delay. Other farming activities for the week included side-dressing corn, growing vegetables, and transplanting tobacco.
REPORTER COMMENTS BY COUNTY
Comments are based on comments reported by extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.
HIGHLAND (Rodney Leech) Frost and freeze a couple of mornings are keeping grass growth at a slow pace.
ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas A. Stanley) Clear weather allowed field work to progress rapidly this week, though hay drying was slow due to moderate daytime temperatures and cool nights with heavy dew. First cutting hay yields are considered below normal and is generally attributed to the cold weather conditions that persisted well into April. Most corn acres have been planted but later than normal due to cool and wet conditions in late April and early May.
AMELIA/CHESTERFIELD (Joan Poore) A dry warm week – good for soybean planting and hay harvest, but could use a shower of rain because the top of the ground is hard.
HANOVER (Jim Tate) This week has been mostly dry; some scattered light showers. Lots of hay has been made over the last two weeks. I have not talked to enough producers to yet get a feel for quality and quantity; my observation is stands are thinner and more weedy this year than normal. The superior managers are still making decent quality hay. Small grain seems to be heading nicely and may make a decent crop, but straw yield will likely be lighter than normal due to short stature of the plants. Most livestock is starting to look decent after the brutal winter, but still too many producers in our area are overstocked with marginal pastures; with today’s high prices they are not inclined to reduce stocking rates.
SPOTSYLVANIA (John Howe) Hay making is started and well under way.
GLOUCESTER (David Moore) More rain fell during mid-week slowing bottomland corn planting again. Some folks still intend to plant some of the lower lying fields if rain will stop. Most corn looks pretty good. Some environmental stress in some places. Reports of grubs and birds still around. Side-dress of corn begins. Full season soybean planting just about done in many places. A large wheat crop awaits the majority of the soybean planting as double cropped. Haymaking in full swing. Lots of hay cut and baled during the week; showers have slowed that. Many vegetables have been planted and are waiting for warm temps to set them off -tomatoes, squash, peppers, sweet corn, etc.
SMYTH (Andy Overbay) Hay crop is currently being harvested. Yields are light but quality is good on most hays. Those waiting to get increased yields from recent rains will see quality reduced by half or more.
HENRY (Melanie Barrow) Lack of rain has prevented direct seeded late crops from germinating but has allowed for hay to be cut and bailed easily.
BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg) Hay is being cut at this time, including some small grains. Tobacco plants are in short supply and planting is going full swing. Burn downs have been done and some full season soybeans are germinating nicely. There was some minor flooding in fields due to rain along with creeks and rivers up. A few fields had some erosion due to the heavy, fast rainfall from the storm.
SURRY (Glenn Slade) We had a good week with field work catching up. Cotton and peanut planting almost complete. Corn beginning to be side-dressed and soybeans planted.
SUSSEX (Kevin Wells) Good weather conditions have allowed growers to cultivate flue-cured tobacco, finish cotton, peanut and planting full season soybean. Some growers are making herbicide applications to cotton. Growers have taken advantage of the good weather to get along.