Georgia: More Rain, Less Harvest

Photo: Andrew Sawyer, University of Georgia

As we approached November, growers made the comment that this was a season we were ready to put in the books. And then it started raining, and raining and raining. We’ve had a few sunny days since this picture was taken on Nov 19th. Above is what Wilcox County looks like from 2 straight weeks of rain, then more rain over Thanksgiving (and more to come.)

The Monday before Thanksgiving may have been the first full sunny day in the previous two weeks. We saw about 8 inches of rain in those weeks, 4 inches came in one night for some. At Thanksgiving, there was essentially no progress made since the first of November.

Most of our forage was able to be planted in October. This is ideal. Some planted later would have some trouble with saturated soils. We still got a lot to pick in our cotton crop, and our late planted cotton that did better in the hurricane has now been in a lot of rain.

This happened in 2015 as well, and it’ll affect our color grades some. It also stalled all peanut digging and picking. We’re about the same as we were at the first of November.

Soybeans

On Monday the 19th, our soybeans were 75% harvested. Here is 70 acres left that has sit through all this rain. You can see where we have some blown over plants. In terms of harvest, this is not a big deal.

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The main issue here is a pathogen affecting pods called phomopsis pod and stem blight. You get phomopsis and/or anthracnose when we go through rain like this. The pathogens easily spread by wind and splashing rain that move spores through the field. This is going to hurt our quality.

We’re seeing yield decline considerably as well. And we were having really good yields before now. The good news so far is that we have not had a load rejected. We are almost done with our soybeans. Some of the beans in the pods did not finish filling out as well. Definitely a lot going on in this situation.

Phomopsis on beans is typical in these rainy situations. It hasn’t been everywhere in GA, but where there has been hits, it can be as bad as Asian Soybean Rust. This is only because the rain.

Pods also did not finish filling out

Peanuts

The rain has kept us from finishing our peanut crop. Some peanuts were on the ground when the rain started and could not be harvested until after. But those peanuts are still okay once they dry out. We have probably 700-800 acres left to harvest in the county.

The state is touching 90% on harvest after talking with UGA Peanut Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort.  Cold would be a bigger issue if peanuts were on the ground, but growers watch that carefully. So far no cold damage on our crop. Grades have actually been good with peanuts picked after rain.

Cotton

As I mentioned above, we actually had more rain in 2015 this time of the year and saw color grades affected. The biggest issue for cotton was that we went 2 – 3 weeks of not just rain, but no sunny weather. This is where our color grade can be affected some.

I haven’t got a number, but we still have a good bit of cotton to go in the county. This week, growers are really picking a lot. It looks like we still have more rain ahead.


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