Cotton Marketing News – 1/17/18


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Effects of the Cold

With the sun out, snow gone, and the temperature warming up, it is finally looking and feeling like a normal South Carolina winter again.


Wheat field in Dillon.

Friday morning (1/5), following the bomb cyclone, the temperature reached 10.2º F according to a weather station in Mullins.  This could have been cold enough to damage some wheat, however, everything is looking fine.  The snow that covered most fields probably provided enough insulation to keep the plants from being damaged.  The wheat has good color and appears to be healthy.


This wheat looks fine after the snow and several hard freezes.

The cold was a little harder on rapeseed.  The snow wasn’t deep enough to cover the plants and a lot of the older leaves are burned.


Even though the damage looks bad from a distance, upon closer inspection, the growing points still look good.  As long as the growing point remains green and turgid, the plants will recover.


Growing point is still green though older leaves were damaged.

In a few fields there were some areas where the plants had grown so fast that the stems had already begun stretching upwards.  These areas were badly damaged, including the growing points, and will likely die.  So long as the plants were still in the rosette stage during the cold, they will be fine.


Rapidly growing plants with elongated stems were fried.  The stems have turned white and are soft and the growing points are wilted.

The plants in the field pictured below were a little smaller and the severity of burn is much less than the field in the previous photos.  Smaller plants seem to have handled the cold much better.


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Corn and Soybean Production Meeting – 1/31/18

The second hour of the meeting will be a dicamba application training.  This training will satisfy the new EPA requirement that all dicamba applicators be trained annually.  This requirement includes private, commercial, and noncommercial applicators as well as those who operate under the supervision of a licensed applicator.  Growers must be trained before they will be able to purchase the new dicamba formulations.


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SC Peanut Growers Meeting – 1/25/18


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Question of the Week: Deer Damage

Last week the question was:  What has been feeding on this rapeseed?


This is deer damage.  This was right on the edge of a field near a trail coming out of a power line right of way.  Luckily, deer don’t seem to enjoy rapeseed quite as much as soybeans.


Here is this week’s question:  What mushroom is this?


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Snowy Start to 2018

On Wednesday (1/3) we saw the first winter weather since a light ice storm in February of 2015.  The winter storm, referred to as a bomb cyclone, brought snow up to 3 inches to most areas of the Pee Dee.  For an easy to understand explanation of exactly what a bomb cyclone is, take a look at this video from Dr. Eric Snodgrass of the University of Illinois.


Due to the cold temperatures we saw for several day prior, the snow began building up as soon as it started falling.  Roads quickly iced over and are yet to thaw in some shady areas.  The photo below gives a good representation of the condition of the roads.


While it has been cold and there is snow sitting on some of our winter crops, we shouldn’t expect to see any damage.  In northern wheat producing areas of the US, snow may cover fields for extended periods of time during the winter.  Wheat in the tillering stage can handle temperatures down to 12º F.


Wheat leaves poking up through the snow.

Strawberries in the dormancy period can handle temperatures down to 10º F.  We haven’t seen temperatures dip quite this low, so everything should be fine.



Strawberry plants mostly covered in snow.

Here are a few more photos from the fields.



Bird tracks in a sunflower field.


Cotton field.


Deer tracks in the snow.


Snow resting on false turkey tail (Stereum ostrea) on a dead branch.

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2018 SC Agribiz Expo – 1/17-1/18


The 6th Annual Expo includes many educational opportunities for all farmers. Attend Wednesday or Thursday or both days.  There is lots of information to learn, folks to see and things to do. Highlighted below are just a few of the features of the 2018 Expo. Admission and Parking is FREE. Check out the website for more information.

Wednesday, January 17th

  • Farmer Appreciation Breakfast (All Farmers-Free-Register here)
  • General Session – The Future of Agriculture, followed by the 2018 Ag Outlook and many more educational opportunities.
  • Field Crops Track, Fruit & Vegetable Track, Women in Ag Track, Youth Day
  • Taste of SC –  Come taste the products grown in SC.  (Cost $25.00-Register here)

Thursday, January 18th

  • Commissioner’s Breakfast ($35-Register here)
  • General Session with Key Note Speaker-Mary Kay Thatcher, New Farm Bill Updates from Washington, DC
  • “Soybeans that Yield Like Corn” and “Amazing Corn Yields”–Dr. Ron Heiniger and Kevin Matthews.
  • Fruit & Vegetable Track, Women in Ag Track, CAMM Conference

Visit the website for more information:


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Pesticide Applicator Training – 1/23/18


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Question of the Week: Mistletoe

Last week the question was:  What is this parasitic plant found in the top of a dormant hardwood tree?


This is mistletoe.  It’s easy to find in hardwood trees this time of year because it’s the only green left in the canopy once the leaves drop in the fall.  Mistletoe is plant parasite and while it has the ability to photosynthesize, it obtains most of its water and nutrients from its host plant.  White berries containing a single seed are produced later in the winter.  Birds feed on the berries and spread the seeds through their droppings as they fly from tree to tree.


Here is this week’s question:  What has been feeding on this rapeseed?


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Cotton Marketing News – 12/18/17


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