Image of a Flooded peanut field in Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

This peanut field in Pee Dee region is covered in floodwater.
Image Credit: Clemson University

SANTEE — South Carolina farmers may find fields void of nutrients to feed their cash crops in the wake of last year’s flood.

A Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service event Feb. 18 in Santee will help farmers manage soils and understand the short- and long-term effects of nutrient loss created by the flood.

Soil tests are essential and should be taken at multiple depths from six inches to 24 so farmers understand what nutrients are available throughout the soil’s root zone, said Clemson Extension agent Charles Davis.

Flooding may have washed away sulfur, phosphorus or potash needed to help plants grow, Davis said. Water-logging may also have immobilized nutrients, trapping them deep in the clay layers of the soil, Davis said.

“It’s important farmers understand what they have so they can manage their crops effectively,” Davis said. “This event gives farmers an opportunity to ask questions and look at alternative soil fertility methods.”

Flooding also may have affected soil compaction, which can limit root growth and the mobility of water and nutrients.

The Agricultural Service Laboratory at Clemson University provides a variety of analytical agricultural testing. Soil samples may be submitted through the county Extension offices or directly to the lab at 171 Old Cherry Road, Clemson.

The nutrient management workshop will be 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 18 at the Santee Convention Center, 1737 Bass Drive, Santee.

The workshop is free, but registration is required by Feb. 16 by calling 803-874-2354, ext. 114, or emailing tkinsey@clemson.edu. Lunch will be provided, and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits will be available to attendees.

The featured speaker is Glen Harris, a soil health expert and agronomist from the University of Georgia.

END