Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
USDA recently released its annual crop summary, which showed that 2016 was a very good year for N.C. corn production.
Even though the average yield of 129 bushels per acre fell short of the state record (142 bushels/acre in 2013), last year was a bright spot for corn. Total corn production in the state was 121 million bushels, which was 47 percent higher than 2015’s total.
Soybean production was up 5 percent last year, with production of 58 million bushels on 1.66 million acres. The yield averaged 35 bushels per acre.
Peanut yields were down slightly in 2016, to 3,450 pounds per acre. But production was still up 13 percent, to almost 303 million pounds, because farmers harvested 99,000 acres of peanuts.
Another crop that saw a big increase in acreage was sweet potatoes. Farmers harvested 95,000 acres, putting production at 17 million hundredweight. That’s 5 percent more than in 2015.
Commissioner Troxler says the numbers indicate that the impacts from Hurricane Matthew on corn, soybeans, peanuts and sweet potatoes may not have been as severe as initially feared.
But the report did confirm that cotton suffered from the hurricane. The cotton yield averaged 665 pounds per acre, which is 48 pounds less than in 2015. And production was down 32 percent, to 360,000 bales.
Tobacco production in North Carolina also was lower last year. Production of flue-cured and burley tobacco combined was 331.8 million pounds, a drop of 13 percent from 2015. The average yield for flue-cured in 2016 was 2,000 pounds per acre, while the burley yield averaged 1,800 pounds per acre.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the 2016 crop summary.
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