Virginia Field Reports: Hot and Dry, Crops Stressed

Photo: Justin Ballew, Clemson University

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending July 15, 2018.

REPORTER COMMENTS BY COUNTY – Comments are based on remarks made by extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.


Continued hot and dry. Corn showing drought stress. Barley and wheat yields were low and had very low test weights.

LOUDOUN (Jim Hilleary)
Dry weather has allowed work with equipment, a lot of hay being put up. Pastures are showing the impact of extended dry weather.


ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Dry with seasonally warm temperatures characterized the week in Rockbridge. Crops are progressing well. Soil moisture is generally still adequate, but some isolated areas have missed the most recent thunderstorms and are quite dry.

Warm week with temperatures, much dry down occurred throughout the county.


AMELIA (Laura Siegle)
Conditions are a bit drier this week.

CAROLINE (Mike Broaddus)
Extremely high ambient temperatures and lack of rainfall in the past four weeks has severely stressed corn and soybeans.

CAMPBELL (Todd Scott)
I expect this to be a tough winter for livestock producers in Central VA. Hay is short due to the dry cold winter/spring. Then hay was late due to rains in May. So quality and quantity are low. If producers need hay, now is the time to try and buy it and make sure you get it tested for quality.

AgFax Weed Solutions

APPOMATTOX (Bruce Jones)
Farmers in Appomattox are hopeful for rain this week. Tobacco farmers continue to work on weed control, and many will be topping by the middle to end of the week. Irrigation will start on tobacco as well, if rainfall is not received. Corn is showing moisture stress, especially the earlier planted fields.


KING GEORGE (Mike Broaddus)
Extremely high ambient temperatures and lack of rainfall in the past four weeks has severely stressed corn and soybeans.

After a wet spring and strong vegetative growth, lack of rain for the last 2-3 weeks has severely impacted kernel development in this season’s corn crop.


GRAYSON (Kevin Spurlin)
Hot, dry conditions have persisted, which is affecting pastures and hay fields most dramatically. Other crops are starting to show moisture stress now as well.

TAZEWELL (John Blankenship)
Dry, need rain.


PITTSYLVANIA (Stephen Barts)
Drought conditions continue to worsen; row crops suffer in high heat conditions and grass condition is deteriorating.


GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
Approximately 4/10″ of rain fell Thursday evening with windy conditions, but much more is needed to help crops recuperate from our dry and hot weather pattern. Late and re-planted soybeans have struggled to emerge in some places.

CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
High temperatures in the 90s yielded to more moderate temperatures after thunderstorms deposited 1 to 1.5 inches of rain Wednesday evening.

BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg)
Flue cured tobacco is being pulled and cured. Other crops are being scouted and sprayed as needed. Hay is being finished up for right now. We are in need of rain.

General Comments

Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.7. Weather conditions are getting drier with limited precipitation and high temperatures; some crops and pastures are showing signs of stress. Farming activities for the week included working on weed control in tobacco, getting ready for irrigation, making hay, and harvesting fruit.

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