"We really need some rain for all of the crops in the county," Orangeburg County
"Periods of above-average rainfall are not what farmers would like to see, as they interfere with normal field operations such as planting, spraying and harvesting," Davis said. "Warmer than normal temperatures tend to increase insect activity and hastens their maturity, making control more difficult and making timely application of insect control measures more critical."
Dryland corn has been particularly hard hit this year due to high temperatures and spotty rainfall, Croft said.
"Yield loss on corn is going to be fairly high in some particular fields," he said. "I expect a better irrigated crop than last year and an average- to below-average dryland crop."
Early corn will be harvested the last week of July and the first week of August.
This year they are growing about 700 acres of corn with 200 under irrigation.
"Compared to last year, the irrigated corn is much better," Ott said. "Last year, every bit of fertilizer we put to it leached out. We could not get enough nitrogen to produce a good crop."
The dryland crop is also better this year.
"It was so wet last year we did not plant about 200 acres," Ott said.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, Ott said the crop looks like it will be a 7 to 8.
Davis predicts overall dryland corn will be fair to poor at 60 to 100 bushels, with irrigated corn being between 180 to 220 bushels.
Croft said with corn about
Farmers will need to have about 177 bushels per acre on their irrigated corn to break even, Davis said.
"It would be good to see corn prices back in at least the
Davis said, "A lot of corn farmers will lose money on corn this year."
The low prices are due, in part, to the reduced demand for the ethanol market, reductions in feed requirements due to weather conditions and the anticipation of an abundant supply by the marketplace, Davis said.
Like corn, cotton conditions are varied. Those fields getting rain are reaping the benefits.
"There are areas in
Rain is even more critical now that the crop is in boll stage, he said.
The Ott farm has about 1,000 acres of dryland cotton.
"Cotton looks good," Ott said. "It was getting critical before we got this rain."
He said their
"That made a difference," Ott said. "It really started to suffer. It has good potential but we have a ways to go."
Last year, a lot his cotton fields were drowned out because of the near-record rainfalls.
Davis said the next six to eight weeks are important for cotton farmers.
"A lot, both good and bad, can happen," he said.
Cotton farmers in the county typically receive about 1,000 pounds of lint per acre, Davis said. Cotton prices also have dropped off this year to about 68 to
"This is the lowest it has been in the last couple of years," Croft said. "Most likely, stock-to-use ratio has gotten so that we have more cotton in storage across the world than we are consuming due to a decline in use."
Croft said it would be nice to see prices in the middle to upper
"That would give the farmers a chance to cover all costs and make some profit on cotton," he said.
Davis said with production costs in the neighborhood of
"This will make up for some of the money lost on the corn crop," Davis said. "A price of at least
The peanut crop looks like it could be average to above average.
"There are a few areas that dry conditions are affecting the growth of peanuts, hurting early pegging and lowering yield potential," Croft said.
"Peanuts probably look the best of all the crops in
"The battle for peanut farmers up until now has been weed control," he said. "From here on out, it will be disease management."
A large supply has lowered peanut contract prices to about
Davis said if farmers receive about 3,000 pounds of peanuts per acre, they will just break even on dryland and will lose money on irrigated land.
"Farmers have to manage for high yields to stay in the peanut market at these prices," he said.
Peanut contract prices are set by the buyers and are influenced by supply, demand and import/export opportunities.
There are some patches of soybeans that could also use some rain, Croft said.
"Soybeans range in age from early pod set to very early vegetative growth," he said.
Davis said on average, yields are typically between 40 bushels to 50 bushels per acre.
The Otts planted about 1,200 acres of dryland soybeans.
"We got close to 900 acres of ... early maturity beans," he said. "They were suffering bad before we got rain."
He said the late planted beans behind wheat have a "good stand."
"We are in better shape (compared to last year)," he said. "Last year we had 600 acres of beans we could not get planted because it was so wet."
At a per bushel price of about
The last few years, soybean prices reached a
"Production costs average around
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