What is in this article?:
• Cotton acreage is down in 2012, but cotton production, based on yield per acre, should be up in most Southeast states.
• Soybean acreage will be up significantly and yields in all states other than Virginia are projected to increase from last year.
• Peanut production is up across the board in the Southeast and most states are reporting good to excellent crop production so far this year.
• Corn harvest in nearly done across much of the Southeast and early season drought may keep yields down some, but most growers report a good crop.
Record soybean crop
North Carolina soybean growers will harvest a near record crop of soybeans later this summer and fall and production records could be set as well. Exactly how many acres of beans will be harvested is uncertain, clearly more than early crop planting surveys indicate.
Much of the soybean crop is nearing or past the bloom stage and pod set appears to be heavy across the state. Late-season insect and disease problems appear to be the only hurdles left to clear for most growers.
With the value of this year’s crop so high, growers are being pushed by Extension and industry leaders to carefully scout their fields for insects and disease problems.
North Carolina State Extension Entomologist Jack Bacheler says, “In many soybean fields, especially late-planted fields following wheat, both podworms and stink bugs may be just warming up. Add in soybean loopers in places — not to be confused with the more harmless green clover worms — and you can get some serious defoliation.
“The last week in August and first two or three weeks in September can be a period for moderate to high potential stink bug and caterpillar damage in late fields.”
Though down in acres, the 2012 cotton crop in North Carolina looks outstanding. Keeping late season cotton insects and diseases at bay will be a determining factor in final cotton yield and quality.
The state will be spared much impact from Hurricane Isaac and long-range weather forecasts call for mild, dry weather in much of the state.
Current wet weather has caused an early harvest season for tobacco and sweet potatoes. Reports are that many tobacco barns are maxed out for space. Early reports of sweet potatoes in North Carolina indicate a higher than average yield and quality for this year’s crop.
Perhaps Dillon, S.C. grower Cullen Bryant says it best, “We’ve had good, not excellent, but good rainfall all season and our crops look good.” Much the same could be said for most of the crops in most areas of South Carolina.
By September half to two-thirds of what is being called a record corn crop will be harvested.
Farmers in South Carolina are in need of some dry weather to complete corn harvest and to get into fields to take care of disease, weed and insect problems in soybeans, cotton and other row crops.
Clemson University Peanut Specialist Scott Monfort says the peanut crop appears to be in excellent shape and growers are anticipating a big crop on top of a record number of acres planted. The latest crop update indicates more than 75 percent of the crop is in good to excellent conditions.
Soybeans are significantly behind past years, but that may be a good thing, based on predicted weather patterns that indicate near ideal conditions for final pod set and maturation.
More than 80 percent of the crop bloomed later than the five-year average and more than 50 percent of the crop set pods later than the same average.