Today’s Topic: Plantings of corn, sweet potatoes are forecast to be higher than last year

by | Jul 12, 2016


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

The USDA has released its updated acreage forecast for North Carolina, and the report says there will be more corn and sweet potatoes this year.

Corn plantings are expected to top 1 million acres, which is 29 percent more than in 2015. If this forecast holds, it will be the first time since 2007 that corn plantings in the state have reached 1 million acres.

N.C. farmers also are pretty fond of sweet potatoes. They intend to plant 96,000 acres, which would set a record for the second year in a row. Still, the latest estimate is not as high as the March prospective plantings report, which forecast 105,000 acres of the crop.

Hay acreage also is up this year, with producers expecting to cut 799,000 acres, which is 3 percent more than last year.

Farmers adjust their planting intentions based on a variety of factors, such as input costs, the price they can get for the crop, whether there are contracts available, and the overall market for the crop. Weather also is a factor.

As some crops gain acres, others lose them. For example:

  • The USDA report says cotton growers are planting 25 percent less of the crop than a year ago. The forecast calls for only 290,000 acres of cotton this year.
  • The flue-cured tobacco crop will drop by 12,000 acres, to 160,000.
  • Soybean acres are lower by 10 percent. The forecast calls for 1.6 million acres.
  • Contrary to what was indicated in the March report, peanut plantings are now predicted to be 80,000 acres, down 11 percent from a year ago.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the latest crop acreage forecast.

[Audio:/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_7-12-16.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for July 12]

Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.