The season's first yield forecast for Georgia row crops shows much improvement over last year's drought-damaged crops. Cotton production is up 27 percent from 2001 and the state's corn growers are expected to harvest a record average yield of 120 bushels per acre.
Production is up this year for all crops except for corn and tobacco, as high yields were not enough to offset acreage reductions, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service.
Temperatures throughout the growing season have been normal to slightly below normal in most areas of Georgia. Rainfall has been near normal and above normal in some areas, with showers coming at beneficial times for most crops.
Georgia's corn yield for 2001 is expected to average 120 bushels per acre or 13 bushels more than last year's record of 107 bushels per acre. Temperatures and timely rainfall have resulted in excellent crops for most growers.
Total corn production is predicted at 26.4 million bushels for 220,000 acres harvested for grain. Production of this size would be 18 percent less than last year. The corn for grain harvest is off to a slow start.
Georgia's 2001 cotton crop is forecast to average 680 pounds of lint per harvested acre, about 89 pounds more than in 2000. Cotton also has benefited from good growing conditions this summer. As of early August, only 6 percent of the crop was rated poor or very poor while 28 percent was fair and 66 percent was rated good to excellent.
Cotton producers expect to harvest about 1,490,000 acres this fall, up 140,000 acres from last year. Production is estimated at 2,110,000 bales, 27 percent above last year's 1,663,000 bales.
Peanut production in Georgia is forecast at 1.34 billion pounds, almost identical to last year's 1.33 billion pounds. Harvested acres are expected to be 477,000 compared with 492,000 in 2000. Yields across Georgia are expected to average 2,800 pounds per acre compared with 2,700 for 2000.
The peanut crop also has benefited from weather conditions, although growers have been spraying more for disease control. As of early August, 22 percent of the crop was rated excellent while 54 percent was rated good.
Soybean yields in Georgia for 2001 are forecast at 26 bushels per harvested acre, up two bushels from last year. If this early season forecast is realized, production will total 4.16 million bushels or 8 percent more than in 2000. Planted acres are set at 170,000 while harvested acres are estimated to be 160,000. Final soybean yield and production will depend heavily on weather conditions during September.
Tobacco yields for 2001 are expected to average 2,300 pounds per acre, 80 pounds more than last year. The crop has benefited from scattered showers during the summer and disease problems have been at a minimum. The crop is rated in mostly good to excellent condition. Acreage harvested is expected to be 27,000 or 4,000 below last year. That puts potential production at 62.1 million pounds for 2001 or 10 percent less than last year.
Hay production is expected to total 1.95 million tons, up 25 percent from last year. Potential yields are forecast at three tons per acre. If this yield is realized, it will be the highest since 1994. Regular showers have helped to make this year's crop a good one. Acreage cut for hay totals 650,000, unchanged from a year earlier.