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Virginia Crops Benefit From Rain

Owen Taylor
From USDA April 30, 2012 16:47

Rainfall across the Commonwealth continued to benefit spring crops, as well as, winter wheat and pastures. Cooler temperatures have slowed both pasture and hay growth.

Days suitable for fieldwork were 4.1. Progress was made with corn planting this week and additional moisture assisted the crop with emergence. Producers also worked on field preparations for corn and soybeans and scouted corn and wheat fields for disease and pests.

It is still uncertain for many how the small grain crops will do, with some of the crop looking really good and other areas below average. Vegetable planting is also in full swing, with broccoli, cabbage, and some tomatoes being transplanted.

        
         

REPORTER COMMENTS BY COUNTY

Comments are based on comments reported by extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.

NORTHERN

  • CLARKE (Jake Grove) Some rains have helped to improve topsoil moisture; temperatures have remained cool slowing pasture and hay growth.
  • FREDERICK (Jeanette Smith) Received showers on and off all week. We still need more moisture.

WESTERN

  • ROANOKE (Sheri Dorn) The weekly precipitation was 1.07.” Temperatures have been more seasonal than they previously had been; overnight lows in 40s.

CENTRAL

  • AMELIA (Joan D Poore) Good moisture in the ground this past week – but some chilly temperatures. A lot of corn was planted last week after some much needed rain. The small grain crops remain a concern. Some looks really good, other areas may be below average. Harvest will tell.
  • CHESTERFIELD (Joan D Poore) The rains gave relief to dry conditions to get corn planting going. But then a chilly week – no freezing temperatures to cause damage. The ground is cold and moist. Pastures and hayland look good.
  • HANOVER (Jim Tate) Hay and pasture almost universally seems to be reduced in quality. There has been a widespread loss of orchard grass and fescue in existing fields compared to last spring. On the other hand there is an abundance of clover this spring. Now that we have had rain the grasses are once again growing. The rain also caused an almost synchronized emergence of all the corn that has been planted. Where there was no corn suddenly there was corn everywhere. But it has been challenged by cool early morning temperatures a few days last week. Not hearing of any losses yet. My Asian pear trees did get frost damage but oddly my peach trees did not. There were a couple of showery days in the past week, but no deluge type rainfall.

EASTERN

  • ESSEX (Keith Balderson) Activities for the week included scouting wheat for insects and diseases and making fertilizer and herbicide applications to full-season soybean ground. Pest pressure in wheat, for the most part, remained relatively low.
  • MIDDLESEX (David Moore) Good rains this week! Corn planting continues. Field prep for corn planting and soybean planting continues. Folks are scouting corn and small grains and finding some cold damage in wheat and some slugs in corn. Some late season fungicides are going onto small grains. Hay will be short from the first cutting. Recent rains will perks things up. First cutting should begin some next week. Vegetable planting has slowly begun. Some tomatoes and peppers have been planted.

SOUTHERN

  • FRANKLIN (Cynthia Martel) Franklin County is going to be warm this week highs in 80’s to 90’s most of the week. Beginning of the week more chances of rain. Partly cloudy towards the end of the week with 20% chances of rain. Animals are looking real good. With the rain last week and warm weather this week, grass will be growing. Corn is being planted in Franklin County. A number of farmers have been out planting.

SOUTHEASTERN

  • SOUTHAMPTON (John Rudy) The rains we received have helped the spring crops planted along with wheat and pastures. Corn is 100% planted and cotton planting has started. Pastures are doing well. Planting is still proceeding ahead of last year. With a good warm-up later this week, cotton planting should be in full swing. VIRGINIA BEACH (Roy D. Flanagan III) Corn is emerging well and almost 100% of the wheat is headed out. Soybean planting will begin in the next week or so. Strawberries are producing well and would appreciate some sunshine so pickers can continue to come out and fill the buckets.
Owen Taylor
From USDA April 30, 2012 16:47