Early spring crops promise a strong year for S.C. agriculture - DatelineCarolina

Early spring crops promise a strong year for S.C. agriculture

Eric McClam, City Roots Farm manager and co-owner, waited to plant his spring crops despite a warmer winter - a decision which may prove to be wise in light of this weekend's frost forecast. Eric McClam, City Roots Farm manager and co-owner, waited to plant his spring crops despite a warmer winter - a decision which may prove to be wise in light of this weekend's frost forecast.
An anticipated early spring frost may prompt farmers to plant their spring crops, such as tomatoes, in the next few weeks. An anticipated early spring frost may prompt farmers to plant their spring crops, such as tomatoes, in the next few weeks.
Farms like City Roots depend on getting the weather right to be successful. Farms like City Roots depend on getting the weather right to be successful.
Stephanie Sox, South Carolina Department of Agriculture information director, said that consumers can expect standard fruit and vegetable prices. Stephanie Sox, South Carolina Department of Agriculture information director, said that consumers can expect standard fruit and vegetable prices.

By Brodie Putz

South Carolina is expected to have a good crop year in 2017, with a promising spring harvest on the way.

 “We’re seeing some spring crops sprouting a little early,” said Stephanie Sox, South Carolina Department of Agriculture information director. “This isn’t a problem so long as we don’t have a surprise freeze. In fact, it could be a good thing.”

The USDA estimated that the S.C. agricultural industry lost $375,876,853 as a result of the 2015 flood. 2016’s hurricane Matthew is also estimated to have caused a significant loss of cotton and soybeans. But Sox said she thinks that 2017 will be different.

“We had a rough couple of years,” she said. “Between the hurricane, the drought, and the flood, people’s harvests could have been better. But I think they will be better this year."

Erin McClam, City Roots Farm manager and co-owner, shared this sentiment.

 “I think people would be right to be optimistic,” he said. “I can’t really comment as far as prices go, because that’s tied up with the price of petroleum and a number of other things. But I think we’ll see a good harvest.”

 Sox said that consumers can expect, “standard prices for all of their favorite fruits and vegetables.”

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