While much of the country is suffering from unprecedented heat and drought, some parts of the Southeast are having an excellent cropping season, and North Carolina is a prime example.
The latest crop reports from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture indicate corn yields will be up significantly from last year. Yield is forecast at 114 bushels per acre, up 30 bushels from last year.
Total production of 88.9 million bushels is up 30 percent from last year, but harvested acres are down by about 35,000 acres.
Cotton acreage took a big hit in North Carolina this year, but production is up by more than 220 pounds acre from last year’s 616 pounds per acre.
Harvested acres are projected to be down 800,000 in 2011 to 545,000 acres this year.
Peanut acreage made a modest comeback in 2012, pushing the Tar Heel state back over 100,000 acres.
Peanut production is likewise up, with total production projected to top 380 million pounds, up more than 30 percent from last year. Statewide, peanut acreage is up 23,000 acres to 104,000.
Soybean yields this year are up only slightly, from 30 bushels per acre to 32 bushels per acre. Production is up by 28 percent, thanks primarily to a 270,000 acre increase in planting this year.
Statewide North Carolina is expected to harvest 1.63 million acres of soybeans in 2012.
Tobacco has made a big comeback over the past few years in North Carolina and production, if not acreage, this year is no exception.
Flue cured tobacco production is projected at 346.5 million pounds, a whopping 40 percent increase over last year’s crop.
Yield per acre is projected at 2,250 pounds, which is up 50 pounds from last year. Despite the big jump in production, tobacco acreage is projected to drop slightly, down to 154,000 acres.
This increase in spring-planted crop production comes with a record fall-planted, spring-summer-harvested wheat crop of 870,000 acres. Though yields were down slightly, North Carolina wheat farmers set an all time record in production last year.