Crop changes on the Eastern Shore
Not so much a question as an observation. On the way down and back to Cape Charles last week I noticed lots and LOTS of corn where there used to be row of tomatoes. I did not see any fields of tomatoes on the drive down Rt 13.
Anyone else notice this? Any thoughts on what is happening (market changes?)?
On the potential plus side, maybe there will be more geese down that way next fall/winter!
Government handouts for a failed energy policy for ethanol to f-up our boats. But to corn farmers it means $$$$....just my guess, I really have no idea.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual planting intentions report that American farmers will plant almost 96 million acres for corn, 4 percent more than 2011 and the highest since before World War II.
I thought there were farmers getting paid NOT to plant corn?
That is interesting as I used to travel to Wallop's island regularly and remember seeing all the tomatoe fields as well.
Its based on demand, and futures. When times were good you would see allot of cotton planted, because we were all buying new clothes and the like. When the economy is down you'll see more wheat and corn planted (you gotta eat). As for the Govt handouts, do your homework, Matter of fact go ask a local farmer about the handouts he gets.
I read that in Iowa, more of the land that farmers were being paid by the government to set aside for conservation is now being planted w/ corn and/or soybeans because it is MUCH more profitable these days
Its about time the American farmer made a little money instead of losing it every year,hardworking people that actually help feed and cloth everyone.Yes the price of corn,beans and cotton is up but the cost of seed,fertilizer,diesel fuel and land rent is also up so the margin of profit isnt that big.I agree with the ethanol fuel and screwing up everything it is put in though but what to you do,our goverment is going to do what they want to do.There will always be a part of the country every year that has drought or flood that ruins the corn crop so a lot has to be planted to make up for it.
This is not about corn...this is about tomatoes.
ESVA is a (in)famous location for growing tomatoes. Used to be (quite a while ago) that it was local growers/canners...not so anymore. There are two major growers out of Florida (used to be three) that use the shore as the location their third rotation. They have always complained that they lose their ass over there...that they only do it to get the third rotation. Labor availability (and scrutiny post 911) fuel and other costs can have a dramatic (and immediate) affect. The leased fields don't get leased and end up in another crop; the owned fields go fallow.
They also have environmentally questionable farming practices which are finally getting a little more scrutiny...causing them to have to clean up their act (a little)
I took a week there last week and saw the corn fields. Rode on the Diner car out of Cape Charles down the tracks and saw more corn than ever. Also saw the migrant worker yards. Rows and rows of boarded up buidings awaiting the pickers.. who will not show up to pick corn.
It was interesting to see the area from the rails..
CORN MAKES WHISKEY .... i get sick of seeing COTTON.... 300 ACRES OF PEANUTS across the dirt road this year ..... PLANT MORE CORN
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A total of 148 million pounds of tomatoes were produced within Virginia , valued at $41.5 million or roughly $0.28/lb.
The majority of the acreage reported was grown for the fresh market.
Virginia ranks third in the nation, accounting for 4.2% of the U.S. tomato production.
Additional tomato acreage is grown within Virginia and contracted to large processing companies located out-of-state. The exact acreage cannot be released as a result of disclosure laws.
The majority of the tomato acreage is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in Accomack and Northampton counties. Tomatoes are also produced to a smaller degree on the Northern Neck of Virginia within Lancaster, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties.
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Tomato varieties recommended for growth in Virginia include SunStart*, Sunbrite, Mountain Spring*, Sunbeam*, Mountain Fresh*, Sunbrite*, Florida 47*, Plum Dandy*, Mountain Bell*, Carolina Gold*, Sunray, and Husky Gold*. These are produced on a variety of soil types within Virginia, but predominantly on sandy loam soils. Soil target pH for tomatoes is 6.5 with lime being recommended below 6.0. Nitrogen is recommended at a rate of 40-45 lb./acre prior to planting and again at the same rate when fruits are first set. In addition, phosphorus and potassium are recommended at planting at a rate of 100-200 and 100-300 lb./acre, respectively, depending on soil test results. Other micronutrients may also be needed as indicated by soil test results. Calcium is one of the more important micronutrients, especially for the prevention of a physiological disorder known as blossom end rot.
Tomato seedlings are typically planted in the spring beginning in mid-April and continuing through May for a mid-July harvest. Producers often stagger plantings throughout the season and in some cases may harvest until the first killing frost. Prior to planting, tomato seedlings are typically hardened to improve their success rate when placed in the field. It is recommended that this procedure be accomplished by withholding nitrogen and water or by allowing plants to wilt slightly between light waterings. Rows are typically spaced 5 feet apart and plants are placed 18 inches apart in the row. Mostly all of the tomatoes grown on the Eastern Shore are grown on black plastic mulch under some type of irrigation, either overhead or drip. These tomatoes are staked, pruned, and tied with string to increase productivity. Tomatoes in other regions of Virginia are grown mostly on black plastic with irrigation and staking, although some bare-ground, non-irrigated and non-staked fields are in production. All tomatoes in Virginia are hand harvested approximately 3-6 times depending on the variety of tomato and the habits of the producer.