Virginia Field Reports: Hot, Dry Conditions Persist

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending October 6, 2019.

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


Record or near record high temperatures in midweek. Minimal rainfall compared to the dry conditions. Corn grain harvest progressing rapidly. First soybeans harvested last week.

LOUDOUN (Jim Hilleary)
Hay fields and pastures that were recently mowed and cleared of residue are greening in spite of the dry weather. Residue and thatch from summer annuals is notable, if left in place, it is likely to significantly degrade cool season grass productivity.


ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Another week of unseasonably hot temperatures and no rain further degraded pasture conditions and delayed small grain planting. Cooler temperatures by the end of the week brought some relief to livestock, but many livestock producers are drawing on hay inventories due to further declines in pasture conditions. Corn for grain has dried-down rapidly with reports of harvested grain moisture under 15%, while yields are fair to very good.

BATH/HIGHLAND (Jennifer Matosky)
Another dry week. Temperatures dropping a little bit.


CAMPBELL (Todd Scott)
Dry, hot weather is causing trouble for farmers. Hay is short and many farmers are hauling water and feeding hay months earlier than normal. I have had several calls from farmers looking to purchase hay.

LOUISA (Charles Rosson)
After a wet spring and early summer we have had no rain fall for 7 weeks. Extreme hot temperatures have dried out the root zone moisture to where the ground is like a powder or a brick, depending on soil types. Fall grazing has all but been decimated, and second cutting fall hay has been depleted. Many farmers are already feeding hay to livestock like it is winter.


CARROLL (Steve Pottorff)
Weather conditions remain drier than normal.

GRAYSON (Kevin Spurlin)
Several areas of the county received some rain this week, but the county certainly needs more. Areas not receiving the spotty storms still dealt with record heat and drought. Hay inventory is about 20% less than normal, but more alarming is how little standing forage is available causing livestock owners to use hay up to 2 months early.


FRANKLIN (Cynthia Martel)
Farmers in Franklin County have been feeding winter hay for over 2 months now. Fourth cutting hay from several farmers are reporting 85% or greater loss because of the drought conditions in the county. Cover crops and winter planting will be delayed, the ground is hard as cement. Soybeans are starting to be harvested, tonnage will be down. Farmers will have a hard time getting cover crops in before deadlines with Soil and Water and FSA.


GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
October started off with hot, dry weather; breaking records with temperatures in the upper 90’s. Little to no rain forecasted in the next 10 days. Pastures continue to suffer and supplemental feeding continues. Soybean yields are expected to be low; cotton harvest continues.

CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
Very dry. Corn harvest is almost complete. Soybean harvest began this week.

General Comments

AgFax Weed Solutions

Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.7. Weather conditions continue to be hot and dry with limited precipitation recorded during the week and cooler temperatures near the end; areas of the state are in D2 (severe drought) conditions. The lack of rain continues to delay crops from being planted. Farming activities for the week included feeding hay, hauling water, and harvesting soybeans.

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