Georgia farmers planted less corn and cotton and more peanuts and soybeans in 2008 compared with 2007, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office.

Based on a survey during the first two weeks of June, growers indicated corn acres would be down considerably from last year. The survey also indicated soybean acreage would be up significantly from last year. Tobacco acreage is down from 2007. Hay acreage is expected to increase from last year.

Since the beginning of the year, rainfall has generally been below normal, as most of the state continues in drought conditions. Spring time temperatures were near normal, until the latter part of May and into June, when temperatures became above normal.

Cotton producers planted an estimated 900,000 acres of cotton in 2008, down 150,000 acres from the March Prospective Plantings Report, and 130,000 acres less than in 2007. Planting the crop got off to a slow start, due to the dry conditions, but eventually caught up by the first part of June. Georgia’s acreage in 2008 is the second largest in the nation behind Texas.

Peanuts planted in 2008 in Georgia total 650,000 acres, the same acreage as the March Prospective Plantings Report, but 120,000 acres more than in 2007. Acreage for harvest is expected to total 640,000 acres. Planting got off to a normal start, even though conditions were dry. The majority of peanut planting took place in May, and was virtually complete by early June.

Corn planted in Georgia totaled 370,000 acres in 2008, the same that was anticipated in March, but 140,000 acres less than in 2007. Planting was off to a normal start. By the end of March about half the crop had been planted and virtually all the crop was planted by the end of April. The early June survey indicated 320,000 acres to be harvested for grain, 130,000 acres less than in 2007.

Soybean acreage for 2008 is expected to increase significantly to 420,000 acres, 135,000 acres more than in 2007. This June estimate is an increase of 10,000 acres from the March Prospective Plantings Report. As of June 23, 87 percent of the crop had been planted, which is near normal. Soybeans were rated in fair to good condition. Harvested acreage is expected to total 405,000 acres, 130,000 acres above 2007.

Tobacco growers have decreased their acreage from last year. Acreage for 2008 is 16,000 acres, 14 percent less than in 2007 and the same as the March Prospective Plantings Report. Transplanting got under way about the last week of March, which is a normal starting time. By the end of June, harvest was just getting under way, and the crop was rated in fair to mostly good condition.

Sorghum planted for all purposes in 2008 is expected to total 45,000 acres, 10,000 acres less than what was intended in March, and 20,000 acres less than what was planted in 2007. Sorghum to be harvested for grain is expected to total 30,000 acres, 15,000 less than last year.

Hay acreage to be harvested in 2008 totals 700,000 acres, 30,000 acres more than last year. Harvesting hay has been slowed, as dry conditions have caused slow growth in hay fields.

Wheat seeding for 2008 totaled 480,000 acres, up 120,000 acres from 2007. Wheat harvested for grain is estimated at 400,000 acres which is up 170,000 acres from last year.

Oats planted for 2008 total 70,000 acres, the same as last year. Oats harvested for grain is expected to total 20,000 acres, 10,000 acres less than last year.

Rye at 200,000 planted acres, is 30,000 acres less than last year and the harvested area of 30,000 acres is down 10,000 acres less than last year.