Virginia Field Reports: Crops Showing Drought Stress

Drought stricken corn. Photo: Ponsulak Kunsub

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending August 11, 2019.

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


A few spotty showers were not enough to keep up with crop demand. Some crops are showing drought stress. The first corn silage was chopped last week. Some haymaking took place this past week.

LOUDOUN (Jim Hilleary)
Corn and soybeans are doing well. Hay is doing well enough. Most pastures are showing the summer slump, some show significant damage from overgrazing. Jointhead Arthraxon is present in every pasture having expanded beyond low/shaded areas, in some instances it covers large areas. Japanese Stiltgrass is thriving, but mostly restricted to woody/shaded areas.


ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Summer heat and limited thunderstorm activity this week contributed to a slight decline in overall crop conditions with some parts of Rockbridge showing the early signs of drought stress.

BATH/HIGHLAND (Jennifer Matosky)
Cool mornings, hot afternoons. A few short showers.


AMELIA (Laura Siegle)
Droughty conditions have been tough on all crops and pasture this week.

APPOMATTOX (Bruce Jones)
Dry conditions really took their toll on all crops last week. Grass suffered the worse and became crunchy when walking across pastures and hay fields. Drier areas in soybean fields became very evident visually during the hot afternoons. Corn plants seemed to show drying as well. The majority of the cigar tobacco has been harvested and dark tobacco harvest is underway.


LUNENBURG (Lindy Tucker)
Things are dry.

FRANKLIN (Cynthia Martel)
Franklin County is dry, rain is still hit or miss. Farmers are starting to chop corn silage in the county. Hay was being made last week. Dry conditions will hinder regrowth of hay fields.


GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
Growers are readying equipment for corn harvest. Scouting and spraying for plant bugs in cotton is ongoing. The 10 day forecast lacks a high chance of rain and will certainly add stress to all crops.

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CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
A good week of weather for crops. Farmers scouting soybeans for worms, other insect pests and diseases. No major pest problems to report. Also focusing on preparing combines for corn harvest. Summer produce is in abundance at farmers markets.

BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg)
A few thunderstorms mid-week slowed a few things down. Soybeans are blooming. Tobacco harvest is coming along.

General Comments

Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.5. Weather conditions are drier with scattered precipitation in parts of the State. Some crops are showing drought stress. Farming activities for the week included getting equipment ready for the corn harvest, scouting for plant bugs in cotton, and making hay.

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