The June forecast of Georgia's 2001 wheat crop is estimated at 48 bushels per harvested acre, according to the state's agricultural statistics service. If this projection holds true, yields will average six bushels less than in 2000 but five bushels per acre more than in 1999.

Dry conditions during the spring kept disease and insect problems at a minimum. By June 3, harvest had reached 40 percent completion, or slightly behind normal.

Acreage for harvest

Acreage harvested for grain totaled 220,000 acres, unchanged from earlier forecasts and 20,000 acres more than in 2000. Production for 2001 is expected to total 10.6 million bushels, compared with 10.8 million bushels produced in 2000.

Georgia's total peach production for 2001 is forecast at 135 million pounds or 17 percent more than the 115 million pounds produced in 2000. Freezing temperatures did not affect peaches in the major production areas, says Dave Abbe, state statistician.

“Rainfall should increase peach size and lead to a production increase over last year,” says Abbe.

The 2001 peach crop in California, Georgia and South Carolina is forecast at 2.06 billion pounds, down four percent from 2000 and two percent below two years ago. Freestone peach production in the three states is forecast at 1.01 billion pounds, six percent below last year and down three percent from 1999.

Weather damage

Hail damage in California and freezing weather in South Carolina are responsible for the decrease in Freestone production. The California Freestone crop is forecast at 780 million pounds, up one percent from the May forecast but three percent below 2000. The Freestone peach crop harvest is progressing well after April hail storms caused sporadic damage across the state.

The California Clingstone crop is forecast at 1.05 billion pounds, up five percent from the May forecast but one percent below 2000. The crop had favorable weather during bloom but experienced damage from frost and hail later in the season. Crop set is heavy in the earlier varieties and lighter in the late varieties. Harvest was set to begin by late June.

The South Carolina peach crop is forecast at 90 million pounds, down 40 percent from last year and 44 percent below 1999. A late freeze severely reduced the crop size. Some operators have reported a complete crop loss while other were not affected. Harvest is progressing at a normal rate.