Virginia Soybeans, Peanuts, Cotton End Season on High Note

cottonThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Crop Production 2017 Summary today, highlighting record high yields for soybeans and peanuts.

“The 2017 final crop yields and production were mixed when compared to 2016 crops,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician. “The highest yields on record for soybeans and peanuts were the highlight, while corn did not meet farmer’s expectations.”

Soybean production for Virginia is estimated at 26 million bushels, down two percent from the November forecast and up 20 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 44 bushels per acre, down one bushel from last month and up eight bushels from a year ago. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 590,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.39 billion bushels, down one percent from the November forecast and up two percent from last year. The average yield per acre is estimated at 49.1 bushels, down 0.4 bushels from last month and down 2.9 bushels from last year. Area harvested is up eight percent from 2016 at 89.5 million acres.

Peanut farmers in Virginia are estimated to produce 123 million pounds for 2017, up 60 percent from last year. Acres harvested were estimated at 27,000 acres, up 6,000 acres from last year. Peanut yield is estimated at 4,550 pounds per acre, up 900 pounds from 2016. U.S. peanut production was estimated at 7.23 billion pounds, up 30 percent from last year. Acres harvested are projected to total 1.78 million acres, up 16 percent from the previous year. Yields averaged 4,074 pounds per acre, up 440 pound per acre from 2016.
“Cotton production rebounded nicely from 2016, due to increased acreage devoted to the crop and good yields,” Ellison said.

Virginia cotton production is estimated at 195,000 bales, up three percent from the November forecast and up 95 percent from last year. Cotton yields were estimated at 1,128 pounds per acre, up 29 pounds from last month and up 461 pounds per acre from the previous year. Producers harvested 83,000 acres, unchanged from the November forecast and up 11,000 acres from 2016. U.S. cotton production totaled 21.3 million 480-pound bales, down one percent from the November forecast and up 24 percent from 2016. Yields were estimated at 899 pounds per acre, down one pound from last month and up 32 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is estimated at 20.6 million 480-pound bales, up 24 percent from 2016. Pima cotton production is estimated at 693,000 480-pound bales, up 22 percent from 2016.

“April started with cool temperatures and then severe storms during the month caused some corn to need replanting,” Ellison said. “Early July rain benefited the corn crop, but hot, dry conditions later in the month affected pollination, which caused reported yields to be variable.”

Corn production in Virginia is estimated at 47.6 million bushels, down nine percent from the November forecast and down five percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 140 bushels per acre, down 14 bushels from the previous forecast and down eight bushels from the 2016 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 340,000 acres, unchanged acres from 2016. The U.S. corn production is estimated at 14.6 billion bushels, up slightly from the November forecast and down four percent from the revised 2016 estimate. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 176.6 bushels per acre. This is up 1.2 bushels from the November forecast and two bushels above the revised 2016 average yield. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 82.7 million acres, down one percent from the November forecast and down five percent from the revised 2016 acreage.

Virginia flue-cured tobacco production is estimated at 50.6 million pounds, up two percent from the October forecast and up five percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 2,300 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds from October forecast and up 100 pounds from the 2016 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 22,000 acres, unchanged acres from last year’s crop. U.S. production is estimated at 461 million pounds, up seven percent from last year. Flue-cured growers harvested 209,500 acres, down two percent from 2016. Yields were estimated at 2,199 pounds per acre, up 178 pounds from last year.
Production of Virginia dark fire-cured tobacco is estimated at 581,000 pounds, up 12 percent from the previous year. Burley tobacco production is estimated at 2.20 million pounds, down 13 percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay production by Virginia farmers is forecast at 193,000 tons, down four percent the 2016 level. Other hay production in Virginia is estimated at 2.65 million tons, unchanged from last year.

“Thank you to all the farmers for taking time to complete the December Agricultural Survey,” Ellison said. “We appreciate their efforts during the end of a busy growing season.”

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