Alabama peanut specialist discusses impact of rain on crop
HEADLAND, Ala. (WTVY) - We’ve seen rain almost daily throughout the Wiregrass in recent weeks.
While that may keep you from doing those outside chores or fun activities, it’s leading to a bigger challenge for our farmers.
“With a high percentage of crop planted at the end of May when we typically start planting at the end of April, first of May. We’re a good bit behind this year. And we had cool, wet conditions at that time. We were finally able to get in there plant. And then it turned back wet again,” said Kris Balkcom, an Alabama peanut specialist who works at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland.
Many fields have been turned into a muddy mess. The rain has been keeping farmers off their tractors and out of their fields.
“That kind of hinders us from getting operations done that we need to do, being timely with herbicides and fungicide applications,” said Balkcom.
Those operations are part of the process that Balkcom says are vital to keeping crops “weed and bug free.” He says the excessive rainfall and the damage it brings is impacting the production of the crop.
“It’s got the plants kind of stunted. And it takes the oxygen out of the soil. Because when its super saturated, they just cant breathe in that soil like that,” Balkcom said.
According to farmers, it is still way too early in the season to determine the overall impact the rain will have on peanut production.
“It’s the just the weather we got, the hand we got dealt this year. So we’re just trying as best as we can, and its too early to determine where we’re going to be yield-wise right now. We’ve got too far to go in this crop to see where we’re going to wind up,” Balkcom said.
Farmers say they would need about five to seven days of dry weather to catch up on their peanut crop operations.
Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.
Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.