South Carolina soybean crop gets reprieve

South Carolina soybeans may have been saved by rainfall this past week, but the crop isn’t out of the woods yet as more moisture will be needed before maturity.

The state received the most rainfall it has seen since early April and even though it was too late for most corn, some late-planted fields may benefit.

For an overall look at the upper Southeast crop situation, her are the reports from the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia USDA/NASS field offices for the week ending July 13.

North Carolina

North Carolina received between .34 and 4.68 inches of rain throughout the week. Fayetteville reported the most rain with 4.68 inches. Average temperatures ranged from 70 to 80 degrees. There were 4.8 days suitable for field work, compared to 6.8 from the previous week.

Statewide soil moisture levels are rated at 9 percent very short, 24 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Activities during the week included the planting of sorghum and soybeans, harvesting hay, Irish potatoes, peaches, rye and preparing for tobacco harvest.

South Carolina

This past week, South Carolina received the most rainfall it has seen since early April. Precipitation totals varied across the state, but most areas received an inch or more of rain. Upstate counties saw the first significant amount of rain in several weeks.

A streak running from southern Greenville, Laurens, and portions of Newberry county was the largest section shorted by this past week’s showers.

Average soil moisture ratings improved to 24 percent very short, 30 percent short, 45 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. There was a statewide average of 6 days that were suitable for field work.

It is too late for most corn, but continued rain will help late planted fields yield a fair crop. Conditions were not greatly changed, and were reported as 48 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 7 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

With the increased moisture, cotton should see improvement. Development was beginning to increase with some plants putting on new growth. Growers were scouting for larvae pests. Conditions were 12 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 27 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

Overall, peanut conditions continued to see improvement. Conditions were 11 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 39 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.

Soybeans may have been saved this past week, but it was so dry we are going to still ask for more rain. Conditions were 21 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 20 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

Sweet potatoes were 20 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 40 percent fair, and 35 percent good.

Tobacco should see increased leaf size and weight. Eleven percent of the crop has been harvested thus far.

Winter wheat harvest was complete.

Scattered storms have brought temporary relief to livestock, but general follow up rains are needed to help reduce the stress caused by the drought, and short hay stocks. Pastures were showing improvement. Upstate pastures will need more than one week of rain to help the situation there.

Peach conditions improved slightly. The peach harvest was ongoing.

Vegetable harvests were winding down for cucumbers, snap beans, and tomatoes.


Virginia experienced scattered rain showers throughout the week. Days suitable for fieldwork were 4.9.

The recent rain and warm temperatures contributed to the good progress made in corn silking. Despite the good weather, some of the Commonwealth’s corn was showing poor stands from the earlier effects of the cool and wet spring. Some corn producers feel that with continual rains the corn crop will be favorable.

The winter wheat harvest is almost complete, as well as the planting of double-crop soybeans.

Hay and pasture conditions improved due to the precipitation. Farmers anticipate another cutting of hay. However, in some parts of the state, the hay and pasture fields are still suffering from the lack of water. In some cases, farmers are feeding livestock hay to compensate for poor pasture growth.

Other farming activities included harvesting blueberries, peaches, and blackberries, applying potash to soybean fields, spraying insecticides, and tending to the vegetable crop.


Comments are based on comments reported by Extension agents, farmers, commodity specialists, and other knowledgeable individuals.


FREDERICK (Michael Clem) “Nice warm week with temperatures in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Total rainfall accumulation was 1.86 inches.”


GRAYSON (Kevin Spurlin) “The entire county received some much needed rain during the week. Many areas continue to need rain, while others were waterlogged by heavy downpours. Corn, hay and pastures are springing back to life.

LEE (Harold Jerrell) “The county received 2.6 inches of rain this week. Pasture fields are beginning to turn green but it will take time for grasses to respond.”


SURRY (Glenn Slade) “Recent rains helped most crops to rebound, but it is too late for the early planted corn. Soybeans are being replanted while soil has some moisture. Peanuts and cotton are growing well after the showers.”


AUGUSTA (Brain Jones) “Recent severe storms with rain showers limited fieldwork in many areas. Some damaging hail was reported. Field corn is progressing, but many fields still show signs of the cool, wet, spring. Soybeans are not doing well, and many fields have been replanted multiple times this year. Slugs, cutworms and armyworms have been showing their presence. Alfalfa and the potential for second cutting hay looks good with the recent rain showers.”

ROCKBRIDGE (Jon Repair) “Recent rains across the county have been highly welcomed. Amounts have been scattered across the county, but most have received significant rainfall amounts. Pastures and second cutting of hay are beginning to show new signs of growth. Most early planted corn is close to tasseling. Late planted corn has also reaped the benefits of recent rains. Wheat harvest has begun, however, elevators are claiming to be full and it is hard to find local market avenues that will take any wheat at this time.”


MIDDLESEX (David Moore) “Wheat harvest is just about over and so are plantings of double-crop beans. Recent showers have really refreshed things up, but more rain is needed for silking and tasseling corn and to finish out the corn crop. Early beans are off to a good start. Some application of post emerge weed control already on double-crop beans. Vegetables look good, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash all are very tasty. Plans are being made to secure small grain seed for next year.”


AMELIA (Robyn D. Whittington) “Some areas of the county received relief in the form of showers last week. Overall, total rainfall (and consequently, crop qualities) still vary greatly across Amelia.”

CAROLINE (McGann Saphir) “The corn crop looks good. The county received a small amount of rain over the weekend. It was enough to keep the corn from stressing out. We need more rain to insure a good crop. Small grain harvest is mostly over. Yields have been good to very good. Small fruit growers are harvesting blackberries. Fall crops have been planted by vegetable growers.”

POWHATAN/GOOCHLAND (Eric Bowen) “Recent rains have brought much needed relief to corn and soybean crops. Pastures that are under rotational grazing management are showing some improvement due to the recent rains. Many producers continue to feed hay due to poor pasture conditions. Some producers have reported problems with hair-pinning while planting soybeans back into wheat fields due to residue.”

SPOTSYLVANIA (John Howe) “The county has been dry most of the week. Rain late Sunday provided some needed moisture.

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