Virginia Field Reports: Cooler but Still Dry as Harvest Continues

Soybean harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending October 13, 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)
Much cooler seasonable weather for the week, but minimal rainfall. Good harvest conditions continued. Areas that received timely rain are seeing above average crop yields. Areas not so lucky for rainfall are seeing a significant yield decrease.

LOUDOUN (Jim Hilleary)
Some pasture overseeding this weekend with the hope of rain on Wednesday.

WESTERN

ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Another dry week, but a line of rain showers Tuesday brought some very limited relief to some parched soils in isolated areas. Most areas of the county measured less than .25 inch. Most livestock producers are feeding hay or other supplements to animals that would normally be grazing exclusively. Corn harvest is progressing rapidly with dry fields and grain moisture levels below 16%.

CENTRAL

CAROLINE (Mike Broaddus)
Lack of rainfall is still a large problem with planting small grains and cover crops.

BUCKINGHAM (Jennifer Ligon)
Severe drought continues. Hay stockpile is depleted and producers are looking for hay from long distance sources. Cattle are being sold at a record rate. Cattle numbers will be low coming into spring.

LOUISA (Charles Rosson)
Still no rain, top soil devoid of moisture.

EASTERN

KING GEORGE (Mike Broaddus)
Lack of rainfall is still a large problem with planting small grains and cover crops

CHARLES CITY (Scott Reiter)
A day of misty showers brought little relief to dry conditions. Soybean and cotton harvests were delayed by moist conditions for a few days. Soybean yields range from very good to poor – depends on the soil type and rainfall pattern. Grass and small grain seedings are being delayed with the dry conditions.

SOUTHWESTERN

FLOYD (Jon Vest)
Lack of moisture is impacting forage volume and feed reserves, cover crop seeding efforts, and raising potential warm season annual concerns over nitrate and prussic acid issues.

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

SCOTT (Scott Jerrell)
Continued drought impacts the whole county. Farmers have been feeding hay for the past month, with no rebound in pasture expected even if we receive rainfall. We are entering a critical period for most farmers and decisions will have to be made on herd reduction or purchasing additional feed.

SOUTHEASTERN

GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
The drought continues, but cooler temperatures have finally entered our region. Farmers are planting winter seed into dry, dusty fields to meet planting deadlines. Soybean harvest has begun.

CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
Light showers this past week, but no significant amount of rain. Soybean harvest has begun. Some seeding of winter cover crops into soybean canopy has been done.

BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg)
Much needed rain came on Sunday. Many producers are done harvesting tobacco. Cotton is being harvested as well as industrial hemp. Soybeans are dropping leaves. Small grains are coming up and needed the rain.

PRINCE GEORGE (Scott Reiter)
A day of misty showers brought little relief to dry conditions. Soybean and cotton harvests were delayed by moist conditions for a few days. Soybean yields range from very good to poor – depends on the soil type and rainfall pattern. Grass and small grain seedings are being delayed with the dry conditions.

General Comments

Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.5. Weather conditions were cooler with limited precipitation; areas of the state are in D2 (severe drought) conditions and planting continues to be delayed with the dry conditions. Farming activities for the week included purchasing hay, selling cattle, and harvesting soybeans.


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