CONWAY Tobacco farmer Wayne Skipper couldn’t imagine how the crop would be in the early 1900s given the amount of wet weather the Grand Strand has had this year.
Skipper and a crew of volunteers showed the public what life was like on the farm in the early to mid-1900s Saturday at the annual Tobacco Heritage Days Saturday at the L.W. Paul Living History Farm outside of Conway. Skipper said even farms these days couldn’t handle the 19 inches of rain the area received in the last two months.
“The tobacco crop this year is very poor in this county because of the amount of the wet weather,” Skipper said. “Ask any farmer and they’ll tell you they’d rather, anytime, have a dry weather crop than a wet weather crop because of the grass and the weeds.”
Precipitation in July reached just under 7 inches at Grand Strand Airport, according to Brad Reinhart, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. That pales in comparison to the nearly 12.5 inches the county received in June. July was the second month in a row where precipitation was above average, Reinhart said.
The forecast in the immediate future calls for a cold front to come through the Grand Strand today.
“We’re not looking at anything significant in the next few days,” Reinhart said. “It’s good because it is going to give the rivers a chance to come down.”
The Waccamaw River spent most of July at flood level, soaking the Lee’s Landing community and others in the area.
Skipper said the cool spring mixed with the wet weather has made sugar cane look like it will be a stellar year, but don’t let the tall crop fool you.
“We won’t yield as much sugar out of it as we normally do,” he said. “Watermelon is no good this year and those who planted peanuts later in the season might have a good crop.”
Skipper said if rain levels can get under 3 inches per month for the next few months, cole vegetables may have a good crop this year.
He said there is one crop that is doing well with the moisture.
“Corn is having a rather great year,” Skipper said.