Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 7, 2014.
It was a hot week for Virginia. Temperatures were about 6 to 10 degrees hotter than normal for this time of year, with daytime highs in the 90s to 100s. Scattered rain showers brought some relief; precipitation totals varied from light to 3 inches depending on location. Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.1.
Corn producers were busy with the harvest this week; yields were better than expected. The majority of the soybean crop was in good condition. Growers scouted the soybeans for insect and disease pressure and applied treatments as needed. The hay crop has made improvement when compared to earlier in the year; however, production is expected to be down. Hay producers report less stock on hand this year. Other farming activities for the week included harvest tobacco, making hay, and preparing fields for small grain seeding.
REPORTER COMMENTS BY COUNTY
Comments are based on comments reported by extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.
FREDERICK (Jeanette Smith) Temperatures in the 80- 90’s this week with high humidity. Saturday is supposed to give us a break in the humid temperatures.
ROCKINGHAM (Jeremy Daubert) Corn silage harvest is now in full swing, rains have been heavier in northern Rockingham county than southern.
ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas A Stanley) A line of showers and thunderstorms early in the week brought between .4 and 1.5 inch of rain to the Rockbridge area. Row crops are in good condition and corn silage harvest began in earnest this week. Pasture conditions are fair to good but many farmers have expressed concern their hay inventories are not as large as they should be going into the fall.
AMELIA (Joan Poore) Very hot and dry. The hottest week of the summer. All corn silage is complete. Corn for grain harvest started about 10 days ago in an area south of the court house, where it has been drier than other parts of the county. It was a good week for harvest being so dry and hot. Hay is good in some areas, but not the entire county for probably the last cutting of the year.
CAROLINE (Mike Broaddus) Recent small and spotty rains have kept crop and soil conditions as is but no more than that.
CHESTERFIELD (Joan Poore) A very hot and dry week. The hottest temperatures we have had all summer. A good week for cutting and curing hay, but hay is scarce in some areas of the county and thriving in others. Just depending on where the spotty rain fell and when during the summer.
HANOVER (Jim Tate) Crazy weather week. High temp for the week was 101 with stifling humidity….probably the hottest total week of the summer. Then over the weekend, a front comes through bringing almost chilly overnight lows in the 60’s. We had widely scattered thunderstorms where it would be pouring in one spot in a deluge, and a mile down the road the sun was shining. Fortunately at my home in Coatesville we had two rains, Thursday evening and Saturday night, of just over an inch each. Corn harvest is beginning in earnest across the county and while yields are not great, producers seem to be pleasantly surprised as yields are a bit above expectations for the awful weather year we have had. I have not observed any small grain planting yet, but some may have begun.
LOUISA (Steve Hopkins) Dry conditions are beginning to affect pastures and hay. Corn harvest has started on shorter season corn running around 20% moisture.a foot tall. With all the signs of an early fall and the current run of dry weather, prospects for a good yield on them looks bleak. We approach fall calving season with calf loses due to predation already observed in at least one herd. Not sure of the predator yet.
ESSEX (Keith Balderson) Farmers were busy scouting soybeans for insects and diseases this week. Corn earworm threshold levels developed in a few fields. Soybean aphid and frogeye leaf spot have been prevalent in some fields. Corn harvest progress picked up speed and yields have been better than expected.
GLOUCESTER (David Moore) Corn harvest good, soybeans suffering in some areas due to hot dry conditions. Haymaking continues. Field prep for small grain planting begins and plans for small grain production underway.
CARROLL (Steve Pottorff) Recent rains have brought soil moisture levels up to about normal.
SMYTH (Andy Overbay) Recent rains have allowed pastures to recover and help improve livestock conditions even in areas that were being considered for emergency drought status. Corn and hay crops have also benefited from late rain however, drier weather may be needed as harvest dates approach.
HENRY (Melanie Barrow) Areas of Henry County received 2-3.5 inches of rain in 12 hours over the weekend causing puddling in fields and yards and runoff along roadways.
BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg) Heat and high temperatures last week were brutal on crops. Looks like rain next week so this may help the crops. Tobacco is being harvested as soon as it can be according to available barn space.
CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.) Dry soils beginning to detract from potential high yields of soybeans. Need rain this week to avoid major yield reductions.
SURRY (Glenn Slade) Showers over the weekend and the weatherman is calling for widespread rain today and tomorrow (9/8-9/9). This will slow corn harvest, but will help improve yields on cotton, peanuts, and soybeans.
SUSSEX (Kevin Wells) Scattered showers fell over parts of over our areas providing us with some relief to the field condition and hot weather. Hopefully more is on the way. Some growers have begun to harvest corn and yields are reported is good depending on soil types and rainfall. Some growers continue to scout soybean and peanut for insects and diseases.