Small grain plantings for 2009 progressed at a normal pace in the fall of 2008, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office.

Rainfall during the winter months were near normal, while slightly above normal in the southern part of the State. Winter temperatures were generally near normal. Crop conditions during the winter months were mostly good. The wet spring hindered the small grain harvest, as harvesting progress was well behind normal.

All wheat planted in Georgia for the 2009 crop was 340,000 acres, 140,000 acres less than in 2008. Wheat harvested for grain was 250,000 acres, 150,000 acres less than last year. Wheat yields were set at 42 bushels per acre, which is 14 bushels per acre less than last years state record yield. Production totaled 10.5 million bushels, less than half of last year's production.

Oats planted for the 2009 crop was 60,000 acres, with the area harvested for grain at 20,000 acres. Both acreages were 5,000 acres less than in 2008. The yield for oats averaged 56 bushels per acre, 13 bushels per acre less than last year. Production totaled 1,120,000 bushels, 35 percent less than last year.

Georgia's acreage planted to rye, at 200,000 acres was the same as in 2008.

Most of the rye in Georgia is used for winter grazing and as a winter cover crop; however, 25,000 acres were kept to maturity and harvested for grain and seed. This acreage is 15,000 less than in 2008. Yield averaged 21 bushels per acre, 9 bushels less than in 2008. Production was 525,000 bushels, compared with 1,200,000 bushels last year.

U.S. small grains

All wheat production totaled 2.22 billion bushels in 2009, up 2 percent from the August forecast but down 11 percent from 2008. Grain area is 50.1 million acres, down 10 percent from last year. The U.S. yield is 44.4 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushel from last year. The levels of production and changes from last year by type are: winter wheat, 1.52 billion bushels, down 18 percent; other spring wheat, 588 million bushels, up 7 percent; Durum wheat, 110 million bushels, up 31 percent.

Oat production is estimated at 93.3 million bushels, 1 percent above the August forecast and up 5 percent from last year's record low production. Yield is estimated at a record high 67.6 bushels per acre, up 3.1 bushels from the last forecast and up 3.9 bushels from the previous year. Compared with last year, yields increased for most States in the western third of the country and for several Appalachian states. Harvested area, at 1.38 million acres, is 3 percent below August and 2 percent below last year. This is the smallest acreage harvested for grain on record, continuing a steady downward trend.

Rye production for 2009 is estimated at 6.99 million bushels, down 12 percent from last year. Harvested area totaled 252,000 acres, down 17,000 acres from 2008. The U.S. yield, at 27.8 bushels per acre, is down 1.9 bushels from last year. Oklahoma's harvested acres and yield are down from 2008 due to freeze and drought.