Georgia corn producers have surpassed last year's record-breaking yields with a statewide average yield in 2001 of 120 bushels per acre, according to the latest crop report from the state's agricultural statistics service.

This year's projected yield, if realized, would be 13 bushels more than last year's record of 107 bushels per acre. Temperatures and timely rainfall have provided most growers with an excellent corn crop. Corn production is expected to total 26.4 million bushels from 220,000 acres harvested for grain. Production of this size would be 18 percent less than last year. Harvest was running about 15 percent behind the five-year average.

Tobacco estimate

Estimated yields for Georgia's 2001 tobacco crop gradually have improved during the growing season. Yields now are expected to average 2,400 pounds per acre or 180 pounds more than last year. Tobacco has benefited from scattered showers this summer. Also, disease problems have been at a minimum. Acreage harvested is expected to be 27,000 acres or 4,000 acres below last year. This places potential production at 64.8 million pounds or 6 percent less than in 2000.

Although the season started out with good rainfall and good soil moisture prior to transplanting, most tobacco received little rainfall after transplanting until mid-June, when most of Georgia received significant rainfall, says J. Michael Moore, Extension tobacco specialist.

Some weather problems

“Some areas along the Florida line had some tobacco which was lost as a result of drowning,” says Moore. “However, most Georgia growers anticipate producing nearly all of their quota, with many growers anticipating excess production which they will not be allowed to sell due to the limited availability of non-produced quota.”

Georgia's 2001 cotton crop is forecast to average 680 pounds of lint per harvested acre or 89 pounds per acre more than in 2000. More than 80 percent of the crop is rated fair to excellent. Acreage expected to be harvested this fall is estimated at 1,490,000 acres, up 140,000 acres from last year. Production is estimated at 2,110,000 bales, 27 percent more than last year's 1,663,000 bales.

Peanut output

Peanut production in Georgia for 2001 is forecast at 1.34 billion pounds, almost identical to last year's 1.33 billion pounds. Harvested acres are expected to be 477,000 compared to 492,000 in 2000. Yields across the Georgia Peanut Belt are expected to average 2,800 pounds per acre compared with 2,700 for 2000. The crop has benefited from weather conditions this year, but wet conditions in many areas of the state have caused more spraying for disease control.

Peanut production for all Southeastern states, including Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, is expected to total 2.06 billion pounds or 12 percent more than last year. Yield in the four-state area is expected to average 2,702 pounds per acre, up 309 pounds over last year's average. Crop conditions throughout the Southeast were mostly in the fair to good category.

Soybean yields in Georgia are forecast at 26 bushels per harvested acre, up two bushels from last year.

If this early season forecast is realized, production will total 4.16 million bushels or 8 percent more than in 2000. Planted acres are set at 170,000 acres while harvested acres are estimated at 160,000.


e-mail: phollis58@mindspring.com