While much of the U.S. baked in record setting heat and crops struggled with both heat and drought, most of the Southeast, other than much of Virginia, benefitted from near ideal growing conditions from late May until September, resulting in high expectations for crops this fall.

ALABAMA

Moderate drought conditions plagued parts of southeastern Alabama through much of the growing season, but rainfall throughout much of the state has left crops in good shape for the fall harvest season.

Jimmy Jones, with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in southwest Alabama says that part of the state could benefit from projected rain from Hurricane Isaac to finish out cotton and peanut crops.

Much of the state is in the projected band of 6-9 inches of rain from Hurricane Isaac, which could cause a problem with early maturing cotton statewide and with the end of corn harvest in Alabama.

According to Extension sources in Marion and Winston counties in northwest Alabama, corn yields have been running in the 90 bushel per acre range for early planted fields and are projected to be  higher in mid- to late-maturing fields.

Manyproducers are harvesting the second cuttings of hay a few days early to prevent damage by armyworms.

Henry Dorough, a regional Extension agent in north Alabama says forages have improved considerably as a result of recent rainfall. However, widespread multi-generation armyworm infestations in many fields throughout north Alabama are forcing producers to intervene by harvesting hay early or spraying insecticides.

FLORIDA

Though a small band in central Florida and the Panhandle benefitted from an early season tropical storm and then Tropical Storm Isaac dropped more rain on central and southern Florida, most of the state is dryer than normal. Despite the moderate drought conditions, most of the crops in the Panhandle and down into central Florida are in good shape.

Florida will once again have a large peanut crop, with a moderate increase in acreage from last year. Most of the crop is in good to excellent condition.