Summer rains cause crop loss for Polk
Published 10:56 pm Monday, September 9, 2013
Area 12.05 inches above yearly norm
Some Polk County farmers suffered major crop losses this year as higher than normal rains soaked the area.
Polk County’s squash and cucumbers saw the largest loss this year, with an estimated 80 percent loss out of an estimated 110 acres total in the county, according to estimates provided by the Polk County Cooperative Extension Agency.
Polk County’s apple crop suffered an estimated 60 percent loss this year out of the county’s estimated 450 acres of apples.
The county’s largest crop, hay, suffered an estimated 30 percent loss this year out of its 10,000 acres of production.
Polk County Cooperative Extension Director John Vining said the hay crop suffered, “primarily due to the inability to cut and cure the hay with the rainy weather.”
Tomato losses varied greatly across the county with the extension center estimating a total of 45 percent loss out of 190 acres total.
The county’s 400 acres of soybeans also suffered a 10 percent loss because rains this year.
Vining said the county does not have an estimated loss in revenue for county farmers this year because the losses are subject to change after the entire growing season is over.
The area so far has received 12.05 inches of rain over normal ranges. The normal range for a year, calculated between 1981 and 2010 is 61.77 inches. As of Sept. 8, the Tryon National Weather Service observation station calculated 73.82 inches of rain this year. The area saw the most rain in July with 20.05 inches recorded and another 9.25 inches in June and 11.30 inches in May. The normal for July is 5.27 inches, the June normal is 5.38 inches and the May normal is 4.57 inches. (see chart above).
August received 6.70 inches of rain and so far in September the area has recorded 0.33 inches of rain.
January and April also saw above average rainfall with 9.17 and 7.69 inches respectively.