Taking advantagePublished 11:00pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Dry weather aids farmers
Pike County farmers are making hay while the sun shines.
The hot, sunny days are just what the doctor ordered and farmers have been quick to take advantage of the relief from the rains that fell more often than not in July.
“These sunny days have really helped,” said Banks farmer, Mike Wilson. “They’ve helped us get in the field and work. Now, we can spray for leaf spots on peanuts and insects and growth control in the cotton. The sunshine has been a blessing. We can gather hay and do the work that needs to be done.”
Wilson said that, even though there was an over abundance of rain in July, the potential is still there to have good crops.
“The rain was not that detrimental to the crops,” he said. “We’re getting the sunny days we need now but we still need weekly rain. We’ll just have to wait and see what the weather does. That’s the only way we’ll know.”
Jeff Knotts, Pike County FSA executive director, said, too, that the dry weather is giving farmers a chance to get in the fields and spray for weeds and cut hay.
“The dry weather will also help cotton crops,” he said. “Depending on the location, some of the peanuts got too much rain to make a good crop and others are doing all right.
“The dry weather will really help with hay production. Until now, farmers couldn’t get in the hay fields and missed a cutting or two. But, then, all the rain has made for a better yield and should make up for the missed cuttings.”
Knotts said that, although there are a lot of cattle in Pike County to feed, the hay production should be sufficient.
“I don’t foresee any shortage of hay,” he said.
As a whole, the corn crop in Pike County has been good.
“Some of the corn has been affected but the yields are there,” Knotts said.
As far as produce, Buck Campbell, of Campbell’s Produce, said the rain was more than the summer vegetables could handle.
“The peas and tomatoes just drown in all that water,” he said. “The tomatoes split open and the peas made a little crop but not much. I’d say production was about half or more. The tomatoes are gone. There might be some growing up on Sand Mountain but not around here.”
If the weather cooperates, Campbell said the late butterbeans and peas might make.
“They could be ready in October or somewhere along there but other than that, it’s just about all gone.”
Knotts said some crops “weathered” the July rains better than others.
“The corn did all right and there’s still a chance for the cotton and peanuts, but we’ll just have to wait and see what the weather does from here on out.”