The latest information from the North Carolina office of the National Agricultural Statistic Service projects a reduction in most crop production this year, with the exception of corn.
The rainy weather extended into August further hampering small grain production and generally putting the crop farther behind than any crop in the past 20 years.:
The state received above normal precipitation and below normal temperatures for most of August.
Farmers completed small grain harvest as field crops progressed according to conditions. As of Aug. 26, statewide soil moisture was rated at 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus.
Corn appeared to have weathered the wet weather well. The September forecast for corn is 132 bushels per acre and production is forecast at 116.2 million bushels, up 21 percent from last year’s crop.
Harvested acres are also up from last year, with 880,000 acres this year, up 60,000 acres from last year.
Cotton yields are expected to suffer from the extended cool, cloudy weather in June and July and excessive rainfall throughout the year. Production is forecast at 670,000 bales, which is down 45 percent from last year’s production of 1.2 million bales.
Harvested cotton acres dropped again this year, down about 120,000 acres from 2012 and projected at 460,000 acres this year.
Coming off a record statewide production last year of 4,200 pounds of peanuts per acre, this year’s total may seem significantly decreased, but in reality it is likely to be a good year, compared to the 10-year average.
Peanut yield is forecast at 3,600 pounds per acre and production is pegged at 288 million pounds, down 34 percent from last year. Total peanut acreage is expected to be down about 26,000 acres this year to approximately 80,000 acres.
Soybeans may prove to be the biggest variable among crops this year. With a majority of double-crop beans planted at least a month later than normal, yield is expected to lag behind last year. Yield for this season is projected at 30 bushels per acre, down nine bushels per acre from last year’s record crop.
Soybean production is set at 47.4 million bushels, down 23 percent from last year’s crop, though total acreage remains unchanged from last year.
Flue cured tobacco production is forecast at 340 million pounds, down about 10 percent from last year, despite a slight increase in acres harvested this year.
Burley tobacco is expected to drop by 11 percent, as both types of tobacco were seriously damaged by excessive rainfall throughout the Southeast tobacco belt.