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August Rains a Boon to Most Virginia Farmers

Farmers in front of combine
Father Kevin Engel and sons Chris and Casey in front of a Case combine at a field in Caroline county. (Photo:  Savannah Engel McQuarrie)

Heavy rains have helped rescue some crops in Virginia as the weather went from hot and dry in July to the second wettest August on record. 

Mike Wallace at the Virginia Department of Agriculture said the rain was too late for some crops, but was mostly good.  “Peanuts, cotton as well as pastures and pond water all benefited from the heavy rains.  The rains also helped perk up soybeans in the eastern, south side and central portions of the state. But the rain fell too late to affect this year’s corn crop.”

Kevin Engel of Hanover has farms in 19 counties from Chesapeake to Nelson and he said despite the very hot July he welcomed the rains and it has definitely made an improvement in the bottom line. Engel said, “Rains in  August have been very beneficial to the late soybeans.  Corn, to the west of Richmond was a little bit later planted than that in the east and it helped that considerably as well.”

Apple growers in the valley said the rains helped to make up for a late freeze and a hot summer and those apples that survived will be large and juicy.

And Engel said what most farmers need now is a sunny and warm September, to dry out the fields so they can get heavy equipment out to harvest.