Georgia wheat yields up from June

The July crop report shows that Georgia's wheat yield is up from the June 1 forecast, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. Based on a sample of growers contacted on or about July 1, wheat averaged 46 bushels per acre, up 3 bushels from the June 1 forecast.

The crop was much better than earlier anticipated. The increased yield was due to good harvesting weather and high test weights. Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 200,000 acres or 30,000 acres below last year. Production now is expected to total 9.20 million bushels or 13 percent less than in 2003. Harvest was virtually complete by the end of June.

The July survey also indicated that Georgia's 2004 tobacco yield will be below last year's yield. This initial forecast puts Georgia's average yield at 2,050 pounds per acre or 150 pounds less than in 2003. Tomato spotted wilt virus has been a major problem for Georgia tobacco producers, and in some areas, wet conditions have hurt the crop. At the end of June, the crop was considered in mostly fair condition.

Tobacco acres are down this year, with harvested acreage expected to total 24,000 acres, down 11 percent or 3,000 acres from 2003. If these projections are realized, production will amount to 49.2 million pounds or 17 percent less than in 2003.

The second forecast for Georgia's 2004 peach production is up. Improved soil moisture during June has increased the prospects for Georgia peach growers. Production is now expected to total 110 million pounds, up 10 million pounds from the June forecast and the same as the 2003 crop.

Harvest progressed slowly during the month of June because of the wet weather. The crop was considered in mostly good condition. By the end of June, 40 percent of the expected production had been harvested, slightly less than normal.

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