The first forecast of Georgia's row crops for 2009 indicate yields will be up for cotton, corn and soybeans. Production of peanuts and tobacco are expected to be down.
Temperatures during the growing season have averaged above normal. Rainfall was below normal during the mid-summer months, although showers were on the increase during July. This trend continued into early August.
Irrigation has been active this year. This early forecast is based on a survey of growers and field measurements around Aug. 1. Forecasted yields could change based on precipitation, disease, insect pressures and harvest weather in the coming weeks.
Corn yield in Georgia is expected to average 148 bushels per harvested acre, 8 bushels more than last year’s yield of 140 bushels per acre. If this yield is realized it will be a state record. Timely showers and irrigation have led to the good crop.
Georgia’s total corn production is expected to total 56.2 million bushels from 380,000 acres harvested for grain. Production of this size would be 30 percent more than last year.
The wet spring caused planting progress to be much slower than normal.
Corn harvesting was just getting under way.
Georgia’s cotton crop is forecast to average 841 pounds of lint per harvested acre, 6 pounds per acre more than last years yield of 835 pounds per acre. As of Aug. 9, 9 percent was rated very poor or poor, while 38 percent was fair and 53 percent was rated good to excellent.
Acreage expected to be harvested this fall is estimated at 970,000 acres, up 50,000 acres from last year.
Production is estimated at 1,700,000 bales, 6 percent more than last year’s 1,600,000 bales.
The state’s peanut production is forecast at 1.50 billion pounds, compared with last year’s 2.33 billion pounds. Harvested acres are expected to be 455,000 compared with 685,000 in 2008. Yields across Georgia’s peanut belt are expected to average 3,300 pounds per acre compared with 3,400 pounds last year.
Producers have been very active in irrigating their crop. Growers were spraying for disease prevention. As of Aug. 9, the crop was rated 9 percent excellent, 56 percent good, 31 percent fair and 4 percent poor to very poor.
Soybean yields in Georgia are forecast at 32 bushels per harvested acre. Recent July showers in some areas have aided the crop. Production is forecast at 15.4 million bushels, up from the 12.5 million bushels last year. Harvested acres are estimated to be 480,000 acres, compared with 415,000 acres harvested in 2008. Final soybean yield and production will depend heavily on August and September weather conditions.
Georgia’s tobacco yields are expected to average 1,700 pounds per acre, 400 pounds less than last year’s yield of 2,100 pounds per acre. If this yield is realized, it will be the lowest yield since 1973. Tomato spotted wilt virus and low quality has caused a decline in yield.
As of Aug. 9, the crop was rated 11 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 28 percent good and 6 percent excellent. Acreage harvested is expected to be 14,000 acres, 2,000 acres less than last year. This puts potential production at 23.8 million pounds for the year 2009, 29 percent less than in 2008.
U.S. all tobacco production for 2009 is forecast at 785 million pounds, down 2 percent from 2008. Area harvested is forecast at 343,000 acres, 3 percent below last year.
Yields for 2009 are expected to average 2,288 pounds per acre, 30 pounds greater than 2008.
Flue-cured tobacco production is expected to total 491 million pounds, up 5 percent from the previous forecast, but down 2 percent from 2008. Growers plan to harvest 214,500 acres in 2009, down 4 percent from last year but unchanged from the previous forecast. Yields are expected to average 2,291 pounds per acre, up 113 pounds from the July 1 forecast and 52 pounds greater than a year ago.
Growers in North Carolina expect production to total 390 million pounds, up 1 percent from 2008.
In Georgia, yield is forecast at 1,700 pounds per acre, a decrease of 400 pounds from 2008 due to dry conditions and tomato spotted wilt virus.