The initial forecast of Georgia’s wheat crop for 2008 shows production significantly up from 2007, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office.

A sample of producers contacted around May 1 indicates production will total 18.9 million bushels, more than double 2007's output of 9.20 million bushels.

State Director Doug Kleweno said, “The reason for the significant increase in production is the large increase in harvested acres and excellent anticipated yields.” Of the 480,000 acres planted, 350,000 acres are expected to be harvested for grain compared with last year’s 360,000 acres planted and 230,000 acres harvested for grain.

Results from the May Yield Survey indicate yields for 2008 are expected to average 54 bushels per acre. If realized, this would be up 14 bushels from last year and tie the record high yield set in 2000. Growing conditions during late winter and spring have been very good.

Disease problems have been at a minimum. Similarly, no major problems have been caused by insects. County Extension agents rated the crop mostly good as of May 5, with 95 percent of the crop heading, which is near normal.

U.S. Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.78 billion bushels, up 17 percent from 2007. Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 40.2 million acres, up 12 percent from last year. Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 44.3 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels from the previous year.