“It has been a one in a million year,” Coleman said. “We had some record amounts of rain, especially in lower South Carolina. In many areas, we have well surpassed a full year's rain, and we have four months left in the year. It has been more like a tropical environment.”

In early September, Coleman was seeing “some of the prettiest big grapes ever, and they sold well.”

South Carolina peaches held on during the wet weather, said Coleman, and some were still coming in. Sweet potatoes were just beginning to come to the market.

This was a season when periods of good weather were few and far between.

Roger Ball, who operates a roadside stand near Raleigh, N.C., had taken a hard hit last spring when the cold, wet weather got his strawberries off to a two-week-late marketing start.

“That was two weeks of sales we never recovered,” he said.

To make matters much worse, his strawberries fell victim to a curious disease problem in which two different strawberry viruses struck his crop at the same time. One seemed to make the other more damaging (see “Cold weather, viruses slowed North Carolina strawberry crop” May 3).

There were a few bright spots. His sweet corn took the rain reasonably well, and onions produced satisfactorily also.

Still, he said, “This is a year that I will be glad to forget.”


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