The initial forecast of Georgia’s wheat crop for 2009 shows production down from 2008, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office.

A sample of producers contacted around May 1 indicates production will total 12 million bushels, compared with 22.4 million bushels last year. State Director Doug Kleweno stated, “The reason for the decrease in production is the large decrease in harvested acres and slightly lower yields.”

Of the 340,000 acres planted, 240,000 acres are expected to be harvested for grain compared with last year’s 480,000 acres planted and 400,000 acres harvested for grain.

Results from the May Yield Survey indicate yields for 2009 are expected to average 50 bushels per acre. If realized, this would be down 6 bushels from last year’s record setting yield of 56 bushels per acre. Growing conditions during late winter and spring have been good.

Cooler than normal temperatures have aided the crop. 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 4, with 91 percent of the crop heading, which is near normal.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 1.5 billion bushels, down 20 percent from 2008.

Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 34 million acres, down 14 percent from last year. Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 44.2 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from the previous year.