What is in this article?:
• With few exceptions, the 2012 crop in the Southeast will be the most valuable crop to buy and the most expensive crop to produce on record.
COTTON ACRES are down, and prices are not great, but the Southeast should produce a good crop this year.
The 2012 growing season will go down as one of nearly ideal growing conditions for some crops in some parts of the Southeast and good across the region.
In other parts of the country, heat and drought has come in historically bad proportions.
With few exceptions, the 2012 crop in the Southeast will be the most valuable crop to buy and the most expensive crop to produce on record. When final totals are reported, yields won’t likely contribute much toward making this year’s crop more or less valuable or expensive to grow.
Grain crops, fiber crops and root crops will all have good yields, but not high yields, and certainly not record yields — not in most crops in most places in the Southeast. Likewise pest management problems seem to be about normal for the 2012 crop. The rise in input costs and crop value, and the subsequent drive by farmers to get every bushel or pound of yield possible will determine the cost and value of this year’s crop.
Corn yields will likely be up across the Southeast, but not significantly. The mild winter and spring influenced some to plant early, and those acres will likely hold the total yield down. Those who planted corn on time, or even a week or two later than usual, will likely see yields up slightly.
Soybeans behind wheat will likely hold their own with conventional soybeans this year in terms of overall yield in the region. Clearly, later-planted beans will yield better than early planted soybeans, because of more optimum growing conditions across the region during peak production time.
Again, across-the-board, there won’t likely be any significant yield increase or decrease from the 10-year average for soybeans across the region.
Wheat would have been an exception, but the extraordinary warm winter in the primary wheat production areas of the Southeast, combined with a couple of badly timed freezes held yields down, in most cases below last year’s totals. However, large acreage increases pushed total production up significantly.
The jury is still out on cotton and peanuts, but from all reports these crops also will be good, but not spectacular. For peanuts, acreage is up significantly and for cotton acreage is down significantly across the Southeast.
Peanut growers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina alone will produce the expected demand for peanuts this year, unless some late season catastrophe hits. Over-supply will likely once again push prices down for the 2013 crop.
Surprisingly, the biggest winners may be farmers who grew low input grain sorghum for 95 percent of the price of corn. Though there wasn’t a large acreage, likely 100,000 acres or so in the Southeast, some contend milo was more valuable than corn in a dryland comparison in 2012.