By Bobbie Whitehead
Growers say now that temperatures have warmed up, the heat may bring harvest times back to normal for June crops.
Throughout most of April and May, cooler nighttime temperatures held up many crops with some growers, who usually harvest sweet corn at this time, having to wait until the end of the month or early July.
“We’re having the worst growing season,” said Joe Joyner of Isle of Wight County. “The variation in temperatures has put a shock on the plants. It’s the first of June, and the temperatures have been as low as 45 degrees some nights.”
But Joyner said he’ll have sweet corn by the Father’s Day.
“I’m hoping by the end of June to have plenty of corn,” Joyner said. “It’s not been a good year so far.”
Growers throughout the region have waited for the warmer weather, and with the high temperatures expected throughout the week, they may get that needed heat, according to Glenn Slade, Surry County agricultural extension agent.
“All the field crops are behind schedule,” Slade said. “It’s finally warming up. The main thing Surry needs now is water and hot weather.”
Grower Lee Evans in Suffolk said the cool nights definitely slowed the growing season.
“We should have been picking squash two weeks ago,” Evans said. “Now we have to deal with the heat and dry weather.”