Georgia cotton, peanut production down

The first forecast of Georgia's row crops indicates all yields will be up from last year except for cotton. Production of row crops was also up except for cotton and peanuts.

Temperatures during the growing season have averaged above normal. Most areas of the state have suffered through a severe drought during the summer, as growers were active in irrigating their crops. This trend continued into early August.

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 for 2007 is expected to average 115 bushels per harvested acre, 3 bushels more than last year's yield of 112 bushels per acre. Above normal summer time temperatures and drought conditions have taken its toll on the dryland corn crop.

Georgia's total corn production is expected to total 55.2 million bushels from 480,000 acres harvested for grain. Production of this size would be 219 percent more than last year. The dry spring caused planting progress to be much slower than normal. Corn harvesting was just getting under way.

Georgia's 2007 cotton crop is forecast to average 792 pounds of lint per harvested acre, 26 pounds per acre less than last years yield of 818 pounds per acre. Cotton has also suffered from the dry summer.

As of Aug. 6, 14 percent was rated very poor or poor, while 37 percent was fair and 49 percent was rated good to excellent. Acreage expected to be harvested this fall is estimated at 1,000,000 acres, down 370,000 acres from last year.

Production is estimated at 1,650,000 bales, 29 percent less than last year's 2,334,000 bales.

Peanut production in Georgia is forecast at 1.44 billion pounds, compared with last year's 1.58 billion pounds. Harvested acres are expected to be 515,000 compared with 575,000 in 2006.

Yields across Georgia's peanut belt are expected to average 2,800 pounds per acre compared with 2,750 pounds last year. The crop has also suffered from the drought and hot conditions.

Growers were spraying for disease prevention and irrigating. As of Aug. 6, the crop was rated 8 percent excellent, 43 percent good, 37 percent fair and 12 percent poor to very poor.

Soybean yields in Georgia are forecast at 30 bushels per harvested acre.

The dry weather and heat have caused problems for the crop, but recent July showers in some areas have aided the crop.

Production is forecast at 6.15 million bushels, up from the 3.50 million bushels last year. Planted acres are set at 220,000 acres, while harvested acres are estimated to be 205,000 acres. This compares to 155,000 acres planted and 140,000 acres harvested in 2006.

Final soybean yield and production will depend heavily on August and September weather conditions.

Tobacco yields for 2007 are expected to average 2,100 pounds per acre, 330 pounds more than last year's yield of 1,770 pounds per acre. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus has not been as bad as in recent year.

As of Aug. 6, the crop was rated 1 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 48 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Acreage harvested is expected to be 20,000 acres, 3,000 acres more than last year. This puts potential production at 42.0 million pounds for the year 2007, 40 percent more than in 2006.

Hay production is expected to total 1.02 million tons, 13 percent less than last year. Potential yields are forecast at 1.70 tons per acre, compared to 1.80 tons in 2006. Up to this point, it has been a poor crop, due to hot and dry conditions. Conditions did improve some in July.

Acreage cut for hay totals 600,000 acres, down 50,000 acres from last year.

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