The initial forecast for Georgia's 2001 wheat crop reveals that production is down from last year, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. A sample of producers contacted on May 1 indicates that production will total about 10.6 million bushels, down two percent from the 2000 crop.

Potential reduced

“Cold winter weather and the lack of rain has reduced yield potential,” says David Abbe, state statistician. “Mid-April was the critical time in the crop's development, as this is when the heads fill.”

Of the 300,000 acres planted, 220,000 acres are expected to be harvested for grain.

The survey results indicate that yields for 2001 are expected to average about 48 bushels per acre.

If realized, this would be down six bushels per acre from last year.

Due to a dry spring, disease problems this year have been at a minimum. Similarly, no major problems have been caused by insects. County Extension agents rated the crop as fair to good as of May 6, with 96 percent of the crop heading.

Meanwhile, U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 1.34 billion bushels, down 14 percent from 2000 to the lowest level since 1978. All classes of winter wheat are down from the previous year.

U.S. yield forecast

Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 41.8 bushels per acre or 2.8 bushels per acre less than last year. Grain area totals 32.1 million acres, down eight percent from last season.