Pender County crop yields could be smaller due to heat, excessive rain

(Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Isaias dumped lots of rain across the Cape Fear region late Monday night and early Tuesday morning as it moved northeast across the state.

Isaias brought much needed rainfall to the area but the wind and rain laid down lots of corn in Allen Wooten’s Rocky Point farm.

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On Wednesday, some portions of Pender County west of Burgaw received several inches of rain. Then, another round of storms dropped even more rain Thursday.

“The problem with those heavy, intense storms is that you get a lot of runoff or leaching which means the water drains quickly taking along with valuable nutrients in which the crops need,” said Pender County Cooperative Extension Director Mark Seitz.

When this happens, it tends to stunt the growth of summer crops like soybeans and peanuts.

“Every little bit of stress on crops, whether its intense heat or excessive rain, impacts the potential yield for crops,” Seitz said.

Too much rain can rob a plant’s root system of oxygen which inevitably impacts the potential yield.

Another impact of Hurricane Isaias is that the wind blew some of the first and second year blueberry plants sideways which prevents them from growing upright. Seitz says this can cause problems in future years with mechanical harvesting unless the plants are straighten or pruned.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, if you are a farmer in the Cape Fear region and need personal protective equipment such as disposable and cloth masks, call Mark Seitz at 910-604-4287.