Today’s Topic: 2015 wasn’t a banner year for NC crops

by | Jan 26, 2016


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

Thanks to a combination of bad weather and lower commodity prices, North Carolina farmers didn’t have the best of years in 2015, and USDA’s annual crop summary backs that up. Looking at the major crops across the state, yields were down across the board.

  • Corn yields averaged 113 bushels per acre. That’s 19 bushels less than in 2014, and just barely above the 10-year average. Because of lower yields and fewer acres, corn production in the state was down 20 percent from the previous year.
  • Cotton production was down 48 percent in 2015, and that also was due to lower yields and acreage. The cotton yield was 686 pounds per acre, which was 352 pounds less than 2014’s record.
  • Peanut farmers also had seen a record yield in 2014, but 2015 turned out to be below average. The yield dropped to 3,400 pounds per acre, which was 900 pounds less than the previous year.
  • Soybeans also fell off from their 2014 record. The 2015 yield of 32 bushels an acre was 8 bushels less than the previous year.
  • Tobacco farmers produced 17 percent less tobacco in 2015 than they did the year before. The yield was just shy of 2,200 pounds per acre, and farmers also harvested about 22,000 fewer acres last year.

If there was a bright spot, it was sweet potato production, which was up 3 percent in 2015. However, that increase was mainly because of a jump in acreage from 72,000 to 86,000. The average yield was actually down from 200 hundredweight per acre to 190 hundredweight.

Click on the audio player below to hear Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the crop summary and look ahead to 2016.

[Audio:/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_1-26-16.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for Jan. 26]

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