Virginia Field Reports: Rains Slow Harvest, Wheat Planting

Soybean harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending November 3, 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)
A soaking rain Thursday halted field work for the end of the week. The county average rainfall for the last 3 weeks is 4.6 inches. A hard freeze occurred Saturday morning.

LOUDOUN (Jim Hilleary)
Two inches of rain in most of the county has helped with greening pastures, but delayed remaining soybean harvest.

WESTERN

ROCKBRIDGE (Thomas Stanley)
Rockbridge rainfall totals for the week ranged from 1.75 to 4 inches. Pastures and hay meadows have greened-up and grown some, but heavy frost Saturday morning and cooler temperatures this week are limiting recovery. Rainfall totals for October in Rockbridge were almost twice that of the long run average restoring badly depleted soil moisture, but the precipitation was concentrated in the second half of the month, most of it after first frost.

CENTRAL

CAROLINE (Mike Broaddus)
Recent, frequent rains have brought the soil moisture to field capacity, and have held up soybean harvest, as well as wheat planting.

ORANGE (Courtney Wesner)
Moisture levels have improved due to heavy rainfall in the county over the past two weeks. Fescue has greened up quite a bit in response and saw miniscule, at best, growth with a couple of abnormally warm days in the past two weeks. The moisture came too late in the growing season to revive suffering pasture land. Hay and pasture short going into colder weather as producers continue to feed hay.

EASTERN

KING GEORGE (Mike Broaddus)
Recent, frequent rains have brought the soil moisture to field capacity, and have held up soybean harvest, as well as wheat planting.

CHARLES CITY (Scott Reiter)
Soybean harvest made very little progress this week with high moisture levels. Wheat seeding did make some progress since growers could not harvest soybeans.

SOUTHWESTERN

SMYTH (Andy Overbay)
While we are closing out one of the wettest Octobers on record, the moisture that we are now receiving appears to be too late to recover the fall regrowth our pastures and hay fields needed. Small grains are beginning to recover to some extent, but fall into the same category as our pastures in regards to growth.

SOUTHERN

LUNENBURG (Lindy Tucker)
Harvest is coming along with the hemp and tobacco crops in the barn. Beans are coming along with harvest between rains. Have continued to get some rain, but things are still not stellar. Not sure how livestock producers are going to make it through winter with very little hay and no stockpiled grass. Expecting the sale of a lot of cattle in the coming weeks.

SOUTHEASTERN

GREENSVILLE (Sara Rutherford)
Cotton harvest still going strong. Beans will be harvested well into December. Moist conditions aiding in planting and germination of winter grains and cover crops.

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CHESAPEAKE CITY (Watson Lawrence Jr.)
Better weather for picking soybeans this weekend. Farmers are busy with other fall tasks, such as mowing corn stalks and ditch banks. Fall activities continue at farm markets with excellent weather last weekend.

BRUNSWICK (Cynthia Gregg)
Rain this week helped. This weekend we had frost and cold temperatures. Soybeans are almost finished dropping leaves, and harvest is well underway.

PRINCE GEORGE (Scott Reiter)
Soybean harvest made very little progress this week with high moisture levels. Wheat seeding did make some progress since growers could not harvest soybeans.

General Comments

Days suitable for fieldwork were 4.8. Weather conditions were damp and wet, with frost over the weekend. Drought conditions continue to lessen with precipitation, but the rain has delayed some soybean harvesting and wheat planting. Farming activities for the week included feeding hay, harvesting cotton, and planting wheat.


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