Virginia Field Reports: Hot, Dry Conditions Taking Toll on Crops

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending September 8, 2019.

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

NORTHERN

ROCKINGHAM (Doug Horn)
No rain last week. Good conditions for making hay. Corn silage harvesting proceeding rapidly. Many pastures are overgrazed. Sugarcane aphids found in grain and sweet sorghum.

WESTERN

ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Hot and dry conditions accelerated loss of soil moisture, and led to rapidly deteriorating pasture conditions in Rockbridge. Corn silage harvest is essentially complete, but some producers have forage sorghums they still plan to chop. Silage crops dried down very rapidly causing concerns for ensiling quality. A few farms that are stocked more heavily have had to start feeding hay.

CENTRAL

AMELIA (Laura Siegle)
We remain dry here, the hurricane did not bring much precipitation to our county.

CAROLINE (Mike Broaddus)
Parts of the county are severely dry, while others are just dry.

APPOMATTOX (Bruce Jones)
Much hay harvest underway. Dark tobacco harvest continues on many farms. Dry weather and heat are really showing impact on grass and forages. Many soybeans have started dropping leaves. Corn is still too high moisture for normal harvest without drying.

EASTERN

KING GEORGE (Mike Broaddus)
Parts of the county are severely dry, while others are just dry.

CHARLES CITY (Scott Reiter)
Dry conditions and heat have taken their toll on peanuts and soybeans this past week. Plants were wilting throughout the afternoon each day. Very little to no rain was received from Hurricane Dorian. Corn harvest is the main activity for the week. Some soybeans were treated for corn earworm.

SOUTHWESTERN

CARROLL (Steve Pottorff)
Weather conditions remain very dry in the county.

GRAYSON (Kevin Spurlin)
Unseasonably hot and dry conditions are dominating. Silage corn and pumpkin harvest is in full swing. Pastures are quickly running out of grass.

SOUTHERN

CHARLOTTE (Joanne Jones)
Dry weather conditions continue. Grass really is showing the impact. Tobacco harvest continues.

LUNENBURG (Lindy Tucker)
We need rain.

FRANKLIN (Cynthia Martel)
No rain continues in Franklin County. Several farms have finished corn silage chopping. Several farms reported having to feed hay for over 2 months now because of the dry conditions. Any hay fields just cut will have a hard time recovering without rain. Ponds in the county are seeing large algae blooms.

SOUTHEASTERN

GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
Little to no rain accumulated from Hurricane Dorian. Drought conditions continue to stress crops. Peanut harvest anticipated to start in the next 14+ days.

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CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
No significant damage from Hurricane Dorian. Some hemp plants lodged due to the weight of the plants, but root ball remains intact. Corn harvest completion is about a week behind normal year due to late planting in spring. Farmers really pushed corn harvest prior to the hurricane, and currently are about 35% complete. Received about 2 to 3 inches of rain from the hurricane, and another 1 1/2 inches Sunday after the storm. Harvest not likely to resume till late in the week. Little worm pressure in soybeans thus far.

PRINCE GEORGE (Scott Reiter)
Dry conditions and heat have taken their toll on peanuts and soybeans this past week. Plants were wilting throughout the afternoon each day. Very little to no rain was received from Hurricane Dorian. Corn harvest is the main activity for the week. Some soybeans were treated for corn earworm.

General Comments

Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.5. Weather conditions remain mostly dry; little to no rain accumulated from Hurricane Dorian in the area. Precipitation amounts varied, but were limited. Pastures and crops continue to show drought stress; many farmers are feeding hay. Farming activities for the week included making hay and harvesting apples and pumpkins.


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