Georgia's cotton yield unchanged, pecans down

Based on a survey of growers contacted around Dec. 1, Georgia’s cotton yield was the same as last month, while pecan production showed a slight decline from the October forecast.

Georgia’s cotton production for 2008 is expected to total 1.65 million bales (480 lbs.), unchanged from the Nov. 1 forecast, and 10,000 bales less than 2007 production.

Harvesting has benefited from the dry fall. Acreage for harvest, at 940 thousand acres, remains unchanged from last month. The yield calculates to 843 pounds per harvested acre. By the end of November, about 88 percent of the crop had been harvested.

Pecan production for 2008 is forecast at 65 million pounds, 5 million pounds below the projection in October, and significantly below last year’s production of 150 million pounds. This is an off year in the alternate bearing cycle.

Growers continued to assess the affects of Hurricane Fay and the drought. Some growers found the hurricane damage to be greater than expected. Improved varieties are expected to total 63 million pounds, while native and seedling total 2 million pounds. Harvest as of Nov. 24, was 70 percent, ahead of the normal pace of 52 percent.

Rainfall during November was well below normal over most of the state, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office. The drier than normal weather made for excellent harvesting conditions.

The lack of moisture did hinder small grain growth and slowed plantings.

U.S. pecan production is forecast at 189 million pounds utilized (in-shell basis), down 7 percent from the Oct. 1 forecast and 51 percent from last year's crop. Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have lower production expectations than on Oct. 1, reducing their forecasts by 13, 7, 29, 38, and 6 percent, respectively.

Nationally, improved varieties are expected to produce 163 million pounds or 86 percent of the total, while native and seedling varieties, at 26.5 million pounds, make up the remaining 14 percent of production.

The 2008 crop is expected to be smaller than last year's mainly due to the alternate bearing pattern typical of pecans. Exceptions to the down-cycle are in Kansas and Missouri, where trees have recovered from the severe Easter 2007 freeze, and in North and South Carolina, where conditions have been more favorable than last season.

TAGS: Cotton
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