The USDA released another snapshot of North Carolina’s 2010 growing season today, and, as is usually the case with these reports, it contained both good news and not-so-good news.
The good news
Production of cotton and peanuts is up compared with last year. Cotton production is forecast at 890,000 bales, an increase of 17 percent. Peanut production is forecast at 282 million pounds, a 15 percent increase.
The production increases are attributable to higher acreage. Cotton acres soared to 565,000 this year, compared with 370,000 from a year ago. Peanut acreage is projected at 94,000, up 28,000 from last year.
The not-so-good news
Despite a 50,000 increase in harvested acres, corn production is forecast to be 76.5 million bushels, 18 percent fewer than last year. Soybean production is down 23 percent, to 45.6 million bushels. Harvested acres of soybeans are projected to be 1.5 million, down 230,000 from 2009.
Production of flue-cured tobacco is forecast at 360.8 million pounds, a 14 percent drop from last year. Acreage is projected at 164,000 this year, down 10,000 acres.
Yields down across the field
The really not-so-good news is that yields for all these crops are down this year, largely due to the hot, dry conditions in many areas of the state this summer. Here are the numbers:
- Corn: 90 bushels per acre, down 27 bushels from last year.
- Cotton: 756 pounds per acre, a drop from last year’s record 990 pounds.
- Peanuts: 3,000 pounds per acre, down 700 pounds from last year’s record.
- Soybeans: 30 bushels per acre, a drop of 4 bushels.
- Flue-cured tobacco: 2,200 pounds per acre, down 200 pounds.
To read the USDA’s full August report for North Carolina, click here.