The conditions for the 2009 crop year can be summed up as "abnormally wet", according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service.
The early spring brought frequent rains that continued throughout most of June. A dry spell came towards the end of the summer months.
However, rainy weather returned in the September and continued throughout the fall. Harvesting progress for most crops was behind normal. Considering the weather conditions during the growing season, yields for most crops ended better than earlier anticipated.
Cotton, peanuts, and soybeans were all record yields.
The cotton crop set a record yield for the 2009 crop year. Yield per harvested acre averaged 882 pounds per acre, 25 pounds less than the previous estimate, but 47 pounds more than last year's yield. Harvesting progressed normally.
Planted acreage was set at 1,000,000 acres. Harvested acres, at 990,000 acres, were unchanged from the December estimate, but 70,000 acres more than last year.
Georgia's production in 2009 is expected to total 1.82 million bales (480 pounds), up 14 percent from the 1.60 million produced in 2008.
Georgia's corn yield was 140 bushels per harvested acre, tied with last year, which is a state record. This yield is unchanged from the previous estimate.
Corn planted for all purposes was 420,000 acres, 50,000 acres more than in 2008.
Acreage harvested for grain was at 370,000 acres, 60,000 acres more than last year. Grain production was 51.8 million bushels, up 19 percent from 2008. Corn harvested for silage numbered 30,000 acres, down 15,000 acres from last year.
Peanut production for Georgia was 1.78 billion pounds, 23 percent less than in 2008. Planted acres, at 510,000, were down 180,000 acres from last year and harvested acres, at 505,000, were also down 180,000 acres from 2008. Yields averaged 3,530 pounds per acre, 130 pounds more than last year.
Timely rains during the growing season, new varieties, and low disease and insect pressure contributed to this record yield.
Soybean production is set at 16.2 million bushels. This production is 26 percent more than last year. Planted acres at 470,000, was up 40,000 acres from last year. Harvested acres at 450,000, was up 35,000 acres from 2008.
Yield averaged 36 bushels per acre, five more bushels than last year and a new record.
Tobacco production in 2009 was 28.0 million pounds compared with 33.6 million pounds in 2008. This production represents a 17 percent decrease from last year. Yields averaged 2,000 pounds in 2009, compared with 2,100 pounds per acre in 2008. Acreage was 14,000 compared with 16,000 in 2008. Disease problems were at a minimum for this crop.
Sorghum acres planted for all purposes were 55,000 acres, compared to 60,000 acres last year. Harvested acres for grain were 40,000, down 4,000 acres from last year. Yield averaged 53 bushels per acre, 8 bushel per acre more than last year. Grain production totaled 2,120,000 bushels, up 7 percent from a year earlier. Sorghum harvested as silage was 12,000 acres, the same as last year's acreage. Silage yields averaged 11 tons per acre, down 3 tons from 2008.
Hay production in 2009 totaled 1.61 million tons, 2 percent more than in 2008.
Yields averaged 2.30 tons per acre from all cuttings, 0.1 tons more than last year. Acreage harvested was 700,000 acres, down 20,000 acres from last year.