Georgia cotton plantings should set a modern-day record this year, with growers expected to plant about 1.6 million acres. But even with the increase, Georgia drops to third nationally in planted cotton acreage due to Mississippi's jump to the second spot behind Texas. Mississippi producers are expected to plant about 1.7 million acres this year.

“If projections hold true, we'll set a modern-day record of planted cotton acreage,” says Steve M. Brown, University of Georgia Extension cotton specialist. “Our most recent record was about 1.5 million acres. We probably saw a little less corn planted because weather conditions were so wet earlier this year. Most folks are farming with the support of the loan deficiency payment. Without it, we only could afford to grow quota peanuts, tobacco or maybe vegetables.

No security

“Prices are tough, and this increase in cotton acreage reflects that there's no security anywhere. The most attractive crop to grow isn't that attractive.”

The 1.6 million acres of cotton expected to be planted in Georgia is up 100,000 acres from the March prospective plantings report, according the Agricultural Statistics Service. Georgia producers harvested 1.35 million acres of cotton in 2000, with drought causing the abandonment of several thousand acres.

On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia's peanut growers have planted their smallest acreage since 1982. Peanuts planted this year totaled 480,000 acres. This is 14,000 fewer acres than last year and 66,000 acres less than in 1999.

Acreage for harvest is set at 477,000. Nationally, planted acreage in peanuts is estimated at 1.44 million acres, up 7 percent from last year.

Wheat seedings for this year in Georgia totaled 300,000 acres, the same as last year. Wheat harvested for grain is estimated at 220,000 acres, up 20,000 acres from last year's harvest.

Oats planted this year totaled 80,000 acres, up 14 percent from last year. Oats harvested for grain is expected to total 35,000 acres, unchanged from 2000. Although planted acres of rye is up 30 percent from last year at 300,000 acres, the harvested area of 35,000 acres is down 10,000 acres from last year.

Georgia's corn crop totaled 280,000 acres this year, 120,000 acres less than last year and 20,000 acres less than anticipated in March. A survey taken in early June indicated 220,000 acres to be harvested for grain. That's 80,000 less than in 2000.

Soybean acreage in Georgia is expected to drop to 170,000 acres in 2001. This is 6 percent or 10,000 acres less than last year. This estimate is the lowest acreage on record for the state since 1963. Nationally, however, harvested acreage is expected to be the largest on record.

Dry weather conditions in early May delayed plantings of cotton and peanuts in the Florida Panhandle. Planted cotton acreage is estimated at 120,000 acres for 2001, about 8 percent less than last year. Dry conditions caused early plant stress, but recent rains have improved the crop.

Florida's planted acreage of peanuts is estimated at 95,000 acres this year, up 1 percent from 2000. Of the planted acreage, 87,000 acres are expected to be harvested for dry nuts. The remaining 8,000 acres will be used for green peanuts.

Corn planted for all purposes totaled 78,000 acres, down 8 percent from last year. Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 30,000 acres, up 7 percent from 2000. Dryland corn was hurt by drought.

Florida growers continued to plant soybeans throughout June and July with planted acreage estimated at 15,000 acres, down 5,000 acres or 25 percent from the 20,000 acres planted in 2000. Acreage to be picked for beans is set at 14,000 acres, down 1,000 acres or 7 percent from a year ago.

Acreage of all types of hay, cut and to be cut, is placed at 270,000 acres, the same as last year. Wheat acreage totaled 10,000 acres this year, down from the 13,000 acres planted in 2000.

Cotton up in Alabama

Cotton is the only major row crop in Alabama showing an increase in acreage over last year, with growers planting 610,000 acres. This is an increase of 20,000 acres over 2000 plantings.

Alabama's soybean acreage fell to 160,000 acres, the lowest amount planted since 1934 when 159,000 acres were seeded. Last year, 190,000 acres of soybeans were planted in Alabama.

Corn planted for all purposes was set at 200,000 acres this year. This is 30,000 acres less than in 2000. Peanut acreage is expected to total 190,000 acres, the same as last year.


e-mail: phollis58@mindspring.com