Home Farm Equipment Sandier soils did better, irrigation didn't much matter

Sandier soils did better, irrigation didn’t much matter


As mid-season was harvesttime, row crops alongside Florida’s north-central panhandle appeared OK. The fields had had loads of water. Lots.

“It has been a wet growing season in Jackson County. It really depends on the soil type as to how well crops faired this year. This is one of those years where the farms with sandier soils do better. It has rained often enough that even dryland peanuts look really good in the northeast corner of the county that struggles in drought years,” mentioned Doug Mayo, the College of Florida Extension coordinator in Jackson County, one in all Florida’s largest row crop counties.

Shortly after the annual Peanut Discipline Day on the North Florida Analysis and Schooling Middle close to Marianna in Jackson County Aug. 19, Farm Press acquired up with Mayo, and Ethan Carter, UF Extension agent for the north-central area, to get their tackle a soggy season.

However first, let’s set the stage with some numbers.

In line with rainfall knowledge introduced by the North Carolina Institute for Local weather Research, between Might 1 and mid-September, the Mariana location had acquired near 30 inches of rain with a complete of virtually 50 inches for the 12 months.

Between 1991 and 2020, the world’s common complete annual rainfall has been 51 inches. The document 12 months for the area within the final 20 years was 2002 with 67.5 inches of rain. The 2002 fall hurricane season was notably lively beginning in September when storms collectively dropped near 30 inches of rain earlier than the top of that 12 months.


A number of days earlier than the peanut area day, Tropical Storm Fred moved straight throughout the area and dropped about 5 inches of rain.

“We had some pretty good corn yields in August, but there were a few fields that were not harvested until after Fred that had some issues.  All in all, I think corn yields were hurt some by fungal diseases, but turned out pretty good, but not excellent,” Mayo mentioned.

“Scouting back in July, I saw rust in a number of fields. Most were at the dent stage or rapidly approaching it, and later fungicide applications were debated. Used by some growers, and not by others. Overall, the irrigated corn in (Jackson) did very well. Across eight yield checks that I performed the average was 252 bushel per acre,” Carter mentioned.


“Cotton was doing pretty well but we did get several reports of wind damage and twisting from tropical storms.  Particularly early planted cotton with heavy, green boll loads got twisted all around.  Not sure what kind of total losses will come from this, but one farmer told me he had some fields he may only be able to spray from an airplane because of the wind twisting.  I expect the combination of a wet year and wind damage to hurt final cotton yields,” Mayo mentioned.

“I think cotton has been 50-50 this year. Some growers managed to stay on top of their crop despite the wet weather, and others really struggled with pix applications. Some fields are waist high and level, others are shoulder high due to lack of pix applications in late June and July when it was hot, wet and rainy. I have seen some internode spacings up to eight fingers versus the preferred three or less,” Carter mentioned.


The moist climate made it robust to remain on level with well timed fungicide sprays on peanuts.

“Some growers have stronger high-input programs and can have larger gaps within their programs due to the residual of those products. Other growers with lower-input programs only (like Bravo and tebuconazole) had more issues with trying to get out applications in a timely manner. Either it rained every day, or the fields were too saturated for the equipment to go through,” Carter mentioned.

The extreme area moisture in June and July challenged farmers with heavier clay soils within the northwest a part of Jackson County. They struggled to make well timed pesticide functions for a number of weeks when flowering was in full pressure, Mayo mentioned.

“The crops look pretty good, but the wet year will take its toll on crop yields of all types. Irrigated fields had only a limited advantage this year. We had a few weeks with some level of crop stress, so I still expect higher yields from irrigated fields, but not as drastic as in other years,” Mayo mentioned.


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