COLUMBIA, S.C. — February temperatures ranged from 5.1 to 8.7 degrees warmer than historical averages depending on location. Total rainfall during the month ranged from 2.2 inches in York County to 5.3 inches in Greenwood County. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 100 percent of the state had no drought classification by month’s end, compared to 19 percent abnormally dry and 5 percent moderate drought at the beginning of the month.
South Carolina experienced unseasonably warm temperatures for February, which impacted many areas of agriculture across the state. The warm weather pushed some perennial fruit crops into an early bloom which raised concern among producers about a potential late freeze. Fields were being prepared for spring planting with lime applications being made and fields being burnt down. Abundant rainfall in the Lowcountry region delayed some field preparations due to wet field conditions. Hay supplies for livestock were noted to be dwindling, however pasture and forages were reported to be greening up earlier this year. Wheat in the Pee Dee and Lowcountry regions were reported to be progressing well and in good condition. Strawberries were noted to have had a difficult winter, with a late planting and an abundance of fundal diseases. Tobacco producers have set seeds in their greenhouses in preparation for the spring planting.