What is in this article?:
• The ‘root’ of the problem was literally a lack of root system, compounded by the inability of farmers to plant on time and to fertilize their crops on time.
• The results were inevitable and the bottom line impact of record rainfall throughout much of the cropping season will be an economic hurdle for those unfortunate to be in the heaviest hit areas.
CORN WAS the only major Southeast crop that benefitted from record rainfall across the region.
Virginia is also projected to set an all-time record for corn, topping the 2000 record of 146 bushels per acre by 4 bushels per acre this year.
In South Carolina, growers are projected to harvest about 7 million more bushels than last year.
Corn yield is the good news, corn prices are another story. A year ago, corn peaked at more than $8 a bushel as supplies dwindled in the drought.
On Nov. 8, corn fell to $4.17 a bushel, the lowest price since 2010. Prices rebounded to $4.25 that same day, but continue to trend significantly lower than the previous two years.
In the Lower Southeast, both Alabama and Georgia are expected to set record corn yields, but as in the Upper Southeast, other crops will come in well under the past two years totals and in some areas, like the Florida Panhandle, cotton and peanut yields will likely show the most yield loss from the record spring and summer rainfall.
Cotton blooming in September is never a good thing, but it was plentiful across the Southeast this year.
Much of the cotton crop throughout the Southeast was literally starved for sunshine and final yield totals will reflect the shortage of sunlight and the generally bad impact of late planting.
Not since 1967 has so much of the cotton crop in the region been planted so late and even that crop benefitted some from August and September sunshine and warm days.
When this year’s crop needed heat and sunshine the most in August, many areas got more rain and cooler weather.
Typical of the cooler weather, in the Tennessee Valley area of Alabama, historically a major cotton producing center, the average temperature for August was 2.1 degrees below the 10-year average.
Similar small, but damaging dips in August temperatures across the Southeast are almost certainly going to produce lower yields when all the cotton in the region is picked and the numbers are processes.