Local crops in need of rain

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 28, 2005

JACKSON – A little rain could go a long way.

Northampton County Agriculture Agent Craig Ellison said crops in the county are in good shape, but the recent spell of dry weather could hurt if it doesn’t end.

&uot;A rain shower would help,&uot; Ellison said. &uot;We just need to get timely rain from here on out to keep the crops moving the right direction.

&uot;Hopefully, this is the only dry spell we’ll go through and everything will be timely from now on,&uot; he added.

Ellison said cotton was moving along well thus far. He said the unseasonably cool temperatures in May could have caused problems, but those problems seemed to be limited.

&uot;Some people planted cotton in fairly cool conditions,&uot; he said. &uot;We didn’t have warm enough weather to make cotton grow well in May, but in June the temperatures got better and we had some warm nights.&uot;

When the warmer weather rolled around, the cotton seemed to be in good condition except some cases of root damage. There was also a few problems with thrips and spider mites, Ellison said.

Since the weather warmed up, cotton has been progressing well, but is beginning to reach a stage where moisture is getting low.

&uot;Now we’re in a situation where we’re starting to see the crops slow down because the soil moisture is getting low,&uot; Ellison said. &uot;The temperatures are where we need, but we’re getting to a point of lacking on moisture.&uot;

He said a few rain showers would help cotton greatly.

Another crop that is suffering due to the heat and lack of rain is corn.

&uot;In the last week, it is starting to become obvious that corn is going through some moisture problems,&uot; Ellison indicated. &uot;It is a time in the growth stage where we would like to see some rain out there.&uot;

Soybeans are progressing well thus far, though double-crop beans, if they are planted now, could be put down in dry dirt unless the area received one of the few hit-or-miss thunderstorms.

Again, those crops could use some rain, according to Ellison.

Peanuts are also doing well, according to Ellison.

&uot;The weather hasn’t hurt them badly yet,&uot; he said. &uot;Hopefully everyone has their weeds under control.&uot;

Ellison said herbicides continue to work in dry weather, but because of weeds not growing as rapidly due to the lack of moisture, we see more weed escapes during dry weather.