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Wet weather delays North Carolina sweet potatoes

Unusual weather events during the Spring and Summer in North Carolina will delay the harvest of the 2013 sweet potato crop. Speculation among growers in the state is that there could be a significant decrease in volume of harvested sweet potatoes as compared to last year's abundant yields and inventory.

A cooler and wetter-than-normal May delayed the transplanting of the sweet potatoes, resulting in a 10% decrease in acreage from 2012 to 2013. (USDA/NASS June 28, 2013 Report) The weather patterns that brought excessive moisture to the Eastern portion of the US in June have impacted North Carolina’s entire agricultural community.

North Carolina sweet potatoes are grown in sandy soils so the fields drain pretty rapidly; and with the prospect of warm, dry days ahead, the crop can recover. Growers are now implementing plans to address a later harvest window in October instead of the normal months of August and September.

Over the years, North Carolina has withstood hundreds of threatening weather events and our resilient growers will certainly overcome this setback. At this time, the industry needs everyone from our fellow farmers, employees, and purchasers of our product to lend a helping hand as we work towards a sufficient harvest.

For more information:
Sue Johnson-Langdon
Tel: +1 919-894-1067

Publication date: 7/18/2013


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