2014 was a record year for NC cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes

by | Jan 14, 2015

Photo of harvester in cotton field

The average cotton yield in North Carolina in 2014 was 1,049 pounds per acre, a new state record.

Despite a cool, wet spring that caused delays in field work, 2014 was a record-setting year for several North Carolina crops, according to the USDA’s annual crop summary.

The statewide average yields for cotton, peanuts and sweet potatoes set new records, while soybean yields tied a record and production of tobacco was the most since 1998.

Not all crops saw gains last year. Corn production in the state fell 16 percent from 2013’s total.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • Cotton acres held steady at 460,000, but the yield of 1,049 pounds per acre was quite a bit more than the previous record of 1,014, which was set in 2012. Total production was 1 million bales, an increase of 31 percent from 2013.
  • The peanut yield averaged 4,300 pounds per acre, 200 pounds better than the record set in 2012. Total production was 400 million pounds on 93,000 acres.
  • Soybean production was up 42 percent to 69.2 million bushels. The yield of 40 bushels per acre tied the record set in 2012.
  • Sweet potato acreage increased 19,000 in 2014, to 72,000 acres. The yield of 220 hundredweight per acre was 10 percent better than the previous record, set in 2013. Production, at 15.8 million hundredweight, was 49 percent higher than 2013.
  • Tobacco production totaled 453.9 million pounds, a 25 percent increase over 2013. That’s the highest total in North Carolina since 1998, when it topped 551 million pounds.
  • Corn growers harvested 90,000 fewer acres of the crop last year than in 2013. Production totaled 103 million bushels on 840,000 acres.

Click here for the full North Carolina summary.