Record rainfalls across much of North Carolina have resulted in poor crop growth. When there's too much moisture, root systems often don't get a chance to develop fully, and certain nutrients, like nitrogen, also tend to be depleted.
Carl Crozier, soil science professor and extension specialist at N.C. State, says it's a complex issue because of all the different types of soil in North Carolina.
“The sandier soil tends to experience more soil losses to leaching,” Crozier says. “Now, if soil has more clay and water stagnates or ponds in it, nitrogen can be lost through denitrification, which means it's a stagnant environment and the microbes will use up all the oxygen.”
Crozier encourages farmers to learn about their soil types and to do routine testing to measure the amount of nutrients in the soil. Frequent sampling is especially important after periods of unusually wet weather.