Today’s Topic: 2011 N.C. crop summary contains good and bad news

by | Jan 24, 2012

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

This week, Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss USDA’s 2011 crop summary for North Carolina, which was a mix of good and bad news.

Yields for corn, cotton and tobacco all took a beating because of weather and natural disasters in the eastern part of the state. On the other hand, peanuts and sweet potatoes had an excellent year, and the soybean crop was average.

Statewide, production of corn was down 10 percent, to 68.5 million bushels. The yield was 84 bushels an acre, a seven-bushel drop from 2010.

The cotton yield was 630 pounds an acre, a 25 percent drop from 2010. Overall, production was up 10 percent, but that’s because farmers harvested 800,000 acres in 2011, compared with 545,000 acres in 2010.

Flue-cured tobacco averaged 1,550 pounds per acre, which was 550 pounds less than in 2010.

Now for the good news. The yield for sweet potatoes in 2011 matched a record of 200 hundredweight per acre, which was set in 2009. And total production of 9.72 million hundredweight set a new record. Farmers harvested 64,000 acres, up 10,000 acres from 2010.

The average yield for peanuts increased 900 pounds last year, to 3,600 pounds per acre. That’s a strong yield, and it helped boost overall production by 26 percent, even though farmers harvested 25,000 fewer acres than in 2010.

Soybeans had an average year, yielding 30 bushels an acre. Still, that was an increase over 2010.

Click below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this topic.

[Audio: |titles=Today’s Topic for Jan. 24]

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