While farmers elsewhere in West Virginia dealt with flooding in the spring, and hurricane Sandy in the fall, the biggest weather event for local growers was the June 29th derecho. And that damage mostly spared crops.
"I think the debris from the trees maybe took out fence rows, or took out some buildings that have to be rebuilt," says J.J. Barrett, West Virginia University Extension Agent. "I think that was some of the main damage."
Beyond that, farmers mainly had to deal with a dry spring and summer, which didn't improve until November, when much of the growing season was over. And Barrett says timing was a factor in how that affected farmers.
"When the farmers got their crop planted, when they planted early, it didn't do as well. In mid-May, it did better. And that's all due to the timing of the rainfalls we had, especially when the corn was pollinating, and that was the difference in the yields."
S far, the area is having another mild winter. Barrett says whether that continues may have an impact on what kind of growing season area farmers face in 2013.
Farmers still dealing with the aftermath of the June 29 storms can still get some assistance.
Help is available from the Emergency Conservation Program, but farmers need to apply by the end of this month.
For more information, contact Dan Shockey at the Farm Service Agency.
The number is 304-422-9072, extension two.
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