U.S. all flue-cured tobacco production is forecast at 503 million pounds, down less than 1 percent from the 2007 crop but 13 percent above two years ago.

Area harvested, at 221,000 acres is 1 percent below a year ago but up 4 percent from 2006, according to the July 1 survey.

Yield per acre for flue-cured tobacco is forecast at 2,276 pounds, up 17 pounds from last year and 178 pounds above the 2006 yield. Forecasted yields for flue-cured tobacco in Georgia and Virginia increased from last year while the average yield is expected to decrease in North Carolina.

Yield per acre is expected to remain unchanged from a year ago in South Carolina.

In North Carolina, the leading flue-cured tobacco state, production is forecasted at 378 million pounds, up less than 1 percent from the 2007 crop. North Carolina accounts for 75 percent of the total U.S. flue-cured tobacco production.

Area harvested, at 168,000 acres is 1 percent above last year. Yield per acre is forecast at 2,250 pounds per acre, down 20 pounds from 2007. Drought conditions were prevalent across the state with soil moisture rated 75 percent very short to short in early July.

However, the majority of the crop was rated in fair to good condition.

Flue-cured tobacco production in South Carolina is forecast at 45 million pounds, down 2 percent from a year ago.

Area harvested, at 20,000 acres, is 2 percent below 2007. Yield per acre is forecast at 2,250 pounds, unchanged from last year. The majority of the crop was rated in fair condition, but low soil moisture affected plant growth.