Georgia's wheat yield unchanged, peach output down

The results of the June 1 Ag Yield survey show Georgia’s wheat yield as unchanged from the May 1 forecast, according to the USDA, NASS, State Field Office.

Based on a sample of growers contacted on or about June 1, wheat averaged 40 bushels per acre, the same as the May 1 forecast. The dry spring and the Easter freeze contributed to the below average yield.

The drier than normal spring has advanced crop development, but has also helped control diseases. Harvesting progress is ahead of normal.

If this yield is realized, it will be nine bushels per acre less than in 2006.

Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 250,000 acres, up 130,000 acres from 2006. Production now is expected to total 10 million bushels, 70 percent more than 2006.

The initial forecast for Georgia's peach production is 17,000 tons, 59 percent less than last year's 41,000 tons. Winter weather provided adequate chill hours for a good fruit set. Then the dry spring and Easter freeze drastically cut production.

Quality of the harvested fruit, however, has been excellent. Harvest as of June 4 was 8 percent complete, compared with the five-year average of 18 percent.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 1.61 billion bushels, down slightly from the May 1 forecast, but 24 percent above 2006. Based on June 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 43.2 bushels per acre, down 0.3 bushel from last month but 1.5 bushels more than last year.

Grain area totals 37.2 million acres, up fractionally from May 1.

The 2007 peach crop in California, Georgia, and South Carolina is forecast at 12 percent below two years ago.

The California Clingstone crop is forecast at 450,000 tons, equal to the May 1 forecast but 25 percent above 2006. California experienced an adequate number of chilling hours which benefited the Clingstone crop. Overall, the bloom was reported to be good on all varieties.

Thinning is progressing slowly due to labor shortages and heavy fruit sets. Fruit size appears to be small at this point, but the fruit looks very clean.

The California Freestone crop is forecast at 390,000 tons, equal to the May 1 forecast but 10 percent above the 2006 crop. The crop was reported to be of excellent quality with good sizes. The bloom period was fairly quick with above average temperatures and no rain.

Harvest continued during May with Super Rich, Snow Angel, and Spring Snow the major varieties picked.

The South Carolina crop is forecast at 8,000 tons, down 87 percent from last year and 89 percent below the 2005 crop. A severe post-bloom freeze in early April destroyed much of the peach crop. Many growers reported no peaches for harvest this season. Damage was reported across the entire state, with equally severe losses reported in both of the primary growing areas.

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