Favorable weather conditions increasing crop yields for Pender Co. farmers

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Grain farmers across the Cape Fear region are busy harvesting crops and, for most, its been a good year.

In Pender County, the corn harvest is almost finished.

“Despite hot weather in May, the crop in general was the best in a few years,” said Pender County Extension Director Mark Seitz.

The rain in June, he said, came at the right time and the corn ears filled up nicely. Additionally, dry conditions this fall have made it optimal to get crops out of the field.

Farmers were harvesting crops so quickly, local grain elevators filled up forcing operators to move grains to livestock farmers in order to free up capacity.

While the heat was good for corn, that wasn’t the case for other summer crops.

“The dry weather had a negative impact on soybeans,” Seitz said.

Hot conditions negatively impact a soybean farmer’s potential yield. That’s because the plants abort forming larger seed pods opting instead to keep the leaves and the rest of the plant alive. Instead of a pod with three soybean seeds which is common for most crops in our area, you might only get pods containing two seeds inside. This, ultimately, reduces a farmer’s total yield of soybeans per acre.

As for other crops, some farmers are beginning to plant strawberries which will bear fruit in the spring. Seitz says planting conditions lately have been good for these crops.

In addition, farmers will start planting wheat soon which will be ready to harvest in the spring.

“Overall, its been good for grain farmers this summer and early fall,” said Seitz.

Categories: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Local, New Hanover, Pender, Top Stories

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