Based on a survey of Georgia growers contacted around Oct. 1, corn yields were down slightly from September. Cotton, hay, peanuts, soybeans and tobacco yields remained the same as last month. Harvesting conditions were slowed by wetter than normal conditions, according to the state USDA-NASS Field Office.
Corn yield for 2009 is expected to average 140 bushels per harvested acre, three bushels below last month, and the same as last year's record yield.
Irrigation was active this summer. Total corn production is expected to total 49.0 million bushels from 350,000 acres harvested for grain. Production of this size would be 13 percent more than last year. By the end of the first week of October, harvest of corn for grain was 95 percent complete compared with the five year average of 94 percent.
Georgia's 2009 cotton crop is forecast to average 897 pounds of lint per harvested acre, the same as last month and 62 pounds more than last year. If realized this would be a state record yield. By the end of the first week of October, most of the cotton crop was rated in fair to mostly good condition.
Acreage expected to be harvested this fall is estimated at 990,000 acres, the same as last month, but 70,000 acres more than last year. Production is estimated at 1.85 million bales, 16 percent more than last year's 1.60 million bales.
Peanut production in Georgia is forecast at 1.75 billion pounds, compared with last year’s 2.33 billion pounds. Harvested acres are expected to be 500,000 compared with 685,000 in 2008. Yields across the Georgia peanut belt are expected to average 3,500 pounds per acre, the same as last month and 100 pounds more than last year. Irrigating the crop was active during the summer.
By the end of the first week of October, most of the crop was rated in mostly good condition.
Soybean yields in Georgia are forecast at 34 bushels per acre, the same as last month, and 3 bushels more than last year. If this yield is realized, it will tie the state record. Harvested acres are estimated to be 450,000 acres, down 30,000 acres from last month. Production is projected to be 15.3 million bushels, up 19 percent from last year's production. By the end of the first week of October, harvesting was just getting underway.
Tobacco yields for 2009 are expected to average 1,500 pounds per acre, the same as last month, but 600 pounds less than in 2008. Disease problems and the wet spring hurt this year's crop.
Acreage harvested is expected to be 14,000 acres, the same as last month and 2,000 acres less than last year. This puts potential production at 21.0 million pounds for the year 2009, 37 percent less than in 2008.
Hay production is expected to total 1.73 million tons, the same as the previous forecast, but 9 percent more than in 2008. Yields are forecast at 2.50 tons per acre, the same as last month, but 0.30 tons more than last year. Acreage cut for hay totals 690,000 acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but 30,000 acres less than in 2008.
Georgia’s 2009 pecan production is forecast at 90 million pounds, up 29 percent from last year's 70 million pounds. Production of improved varieties is forecast at 86 million pounds. Native and seedling production is forecast at 4 million pounds. Frequent rain throughout the summer produced widespread disease problems.
For the U.S. as a whole, peanut harvest was under way in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina by Sept. 13, with 3 percent of the nation's crop dug, 1 point ahead of last year and the 5 year average. Wet weather during the week ending Sept. 20 stalled harvest in Georgia, the largest peanut producing state. By Oct. 4, harvest had begun in all of the major peanut producing States.
At 16 percent complete, progress was 9 points behind last year and 7 points behind the average. Overall, 70 percent of the peanut crop was rated in good to excellent condition on Oct. 4, a slight decline from the beginning of September but 5 points better than ratings last year.
U.S. all tobacco production for 2009 is forecast at 814 million pounds, 1 percent above the September forecast and up 2 percent from 2008.
Area harvested is forecast at 353,290 acres, virtually unchanged from last year but up 2 percent from the September forecast. The yield for 2009 is expected to average 2,304 pounds per acre, down 15 pounds from the previous forecast but 46 pounds greater than 2008.
Flue-cured tobacco production is expected to total 516 million pounds, 2 percent above the previous forecast and 3 percent above last year. Growers plan to harvest 223,500 acres in 2009, up 2 percent from the September forecast but virtually unchanged from a year ago. Yield is expected to average 2,307 pounds per acre, 2 pounds above the last forecast and up 68 pounds from 2008.
Yields in North Carolina and Georgia are expected to remain unchanged from the September forecast, at 2,400 and 1,500 pounds per acre, respectively. The average yield in South Carolina decreased 50 pounds from last month.