Even during time of extreme drought Amid one of the most extreme droughts in recent history, Georgia growers still managed to produce record small grain yields in 2000, according to the state's agricultural statistics service.

Georgia's small grain growing season began with a drier than normal fall back in 1999. But moderate rainfall in late winter and early spring provided the right amount of moisture at critical times in 2000.

Weather conditions turned very dry at harvest. And, while the result was devastating for spring-planted crops, most small grains produced outstanding yields, with wheat and oats producing record yields.

All wheat planted in Georgia for the 2000 crop was 300,000 acres, the same as 1999's crop. The drier-than-normal fall allowed growers to plant their intended acreage. Wheat harvested for grain decreased 25,000 acres or 11 percent from last year to 200,000 acres.

Wheat yields in Georgia set a state record of 54 bushels per acre or 11 bushels more than a year ago. Production totaled 10.8 million bushels or 12 percent more than in 1999.

Oats planted for the 2000 crop showed an increase of 10,000 acres from a year earlier to 70,000 acres. Oats harvested for grain was at 35,000 acres or 10,000 acres more than in 1999.

The yield for oats also set a state record by averaging 72 bushels per acre or 17 bushels per acre more than the 1999 crop. Production totaled 2.52 million bushels, up 83 percent from last year's 1.38 million bushels.

Georgia's acreage planted to rye, at 230,000 acres, was the same as last year. Most of the rye in Georgia is used for winter grazing and winter cover crops. However, 45,000 acres were kept to maturity and harvested for grain and seed. This acreage is 5,000 acres less than in 1999 and 1998. Yields averaged 26 bushels per acre or five bushels more than in 1999 and 1998.