1,000 Year Flood Effect on Pee Dee Crops

Parts of the midlands and the coast are still flooded after the weather system that brought record amounts of rain passed through South Carolina this past weekend.  The system dumped over 20 inches of rain in some areas causing massive amounts of runoff that have taken several lives and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.


While most of the Pee Dee was spared the flooding that crippled parts of the midlands and coastal regions, the effects were still felt.  Monday marked the 12th straight day of rain in the region.  After some light showers early this morning, the rain is moving on and sunny skies are forecast to follow.  The last 2 weeks of rainy, cloudy weather has been rough on our crops.  There are some flooded fields around, but the worst part about the rain is it has held up harvest.


Flooded peanuts.  It will be several days before a digger can get into this field.

Though the rain is gone, it will be several days before growers are able to get back in the fields.  In some cases, cotton and peanut harvest will end up being delayed 3 weeks or more, depending on whether the crop is worth harvesting at this point.  As if insurance adjusters didn’t need more work this year…

Lots of peanut fields passed the point of optimum maturity during the last 2 weeks and that means we’re going to leave a lot of mature peanuts in the ground.  We’re probably gong to see a lot of sprouted peanuts as well.

Lots of reports have been coming in about sorghum and cotton sprouting in the fields.


Sprouted sorghum is no good once it reaches the degree of the heads pictured above.  Nearly every seed has sprouted in this field.  If you have only a low level of sprouting, contact your buying point to see if they have any tolerances.


Sprouted seed in cotton.


Sprouting seeds in cotton isn’t too surprising given the prolonged period of warm, wet conditions we just experienced.  Sprouted seeds can cause high levels of trash in lint, stained lint, and unwanted moisture in lint.  Only dry, sunny weather will dry out the lent, slowing down the growth and stopping additional seeds from sprouting.  Here is a good article from Guy Collins of NC State on what can be done in fields like this.


The photo above shows another 2 problems we’re seeing in cotton:  lint falling out of the bolls and regrowth.  Nothing can be done about the lint falling except harvesting before any more falls, but don’t jump the gun, the lint needs to be dry.  For regrowth, some fields are bad enough that another application of defoliants may be necessary.  Many chemicals are labeled for a second application, but always consult the label to be sure.  For information on defoliants, take a look at pages 83-86 of the Clemson Cotton Production Guide.

For more information on harvest options, insurance issues, and impacts the weather has had on grade and quality, the Clemson Edisto REC is hosting a field day this Thursday (10/8/15) at 2:30.  A flier will be posted once it is made available.

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One Response to 1,000 Year Flood Effect on Pee Dee Crops

  1. Pingback: South Carolina « Seminole Crop E News

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