Recent deluge of rain forces farmers to grapple with crop delays

FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Fall is a busy time for farmers. Summer crops need to be harvested and preparations need to be made for winter crops like wheat. Both have been problematic for farmers thanks to the recent deluge of rain.

“The rain that we had last week has kind of delayed the harvest; the start of peanut harvest,” said Lance Grimes of the Pitt County Cooperative Extension.

Soybean and sweet potato harvest, which is usually in full swing by now, is also falling behind schedule.

Farmers are taking advantage of a break in the rain to try to catch up on their harvest. But concerns are growing that another batch of heavy rain later this week could cause more problems.

With the early onset of rain this year, farmers weren’t able to finish harvesting corn and tobacco. The last of the tobacco crop in particular could be in trouble.

“The rain may have impacted the harvest a little bit due to the wetness of the fields and not being able to get the tobacco out,” Grimes said. “As far as the quality, it may have caused the tobacco to deteriorate a little bit faster, but it’s hard to say how much yield loss we would have from that.”

The cotton harvest is still a few weeks away, but the weather leading up to it will be vital to having a successful harvest.

“For the most part, the way the weather plays out here the next week or so, the next couple of weeks and next month, is going to determine how much yield loss we have,” said Grimes.

The September deluge has not caused any problems with disease or insects. Grimes said so far the rain has drained quickly enough in many areas to keep that from being an issue.

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