I’ve seen several stories this week about conditions of some crops across the Southeast and how they relate to the weather. The Packer posted a story about the early start to the North Carolina sweet potato crop harvest. The story notes that yields are expected to be the best they’ve experienced in years due to temperatures that were not too hot and timely rain, even though some early-planted varieties were nipped by frost.
A second story from North Carolina in the Southeast Farm Press indicates that this may be a year of record corn yields in the state. The record yield is attributed to El Niño conditions which provided dry weather at planting and harvest and timely rains in between, especially during pollination. Superior management by the farmers was also a factor in the high yields.
Growing Georgia provided a snapshot of conditions across the South in their article today. Generally things are looking reasonably good, especially in areas with irrigation, although drought is a concern in some areas. Crops that love dry weather are doing particularly well. Watermelons did particularly well as the dry weather helped reduce disease pressure.