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October 13, 2016
Crop Yields Improved from September; Progress Still Behind Five-year Average
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, VDACS – 804.786.7686, Herman Ellison, NASS – 804.771.2493 or 800.772.0670

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today the results of the crop production report from the October Agricultural Survey conducted at the beginning of the month. The survey was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

“The corn crop remained in mostly good to excellent condition during the month of September,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “As of Oct. 2, Virginia farmers had harvested 63 percent of the corn crop for grain.”

Corn production in Virginia was forecast at 53.7 million bushels, up 11 percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 158 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from the 2015 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 340,000 acres, up 40,000 acres from 2015. The U.S. corn production was forecast at 15.1 billion bushels, up 11 percent from 2015.

Soybean production for Virginia was forecast at 23.4 million bushels, an increase of 9 percent from 2015. Yield was estimated at 39 bushels per acre, up 4.5 bushels from a year ago. U.S. soybean production was forecast at 4.27 billion bushels, up 9 percent from last year.

“The double crop soybeans got a boost with the rainfall received during the month of September, and some reports indicated the pods filled out nicely with the moisture,” Ellison said. “As of Oct. 2, soybean setting pods and dropping leaves were both behind 2015 and the five-year average.”

Virginia cotton production is projected to be 140,000 bales, down 2 percent from last year. Cotton yields are forecast to average 933 pounds per acre, up 116 pounds per acre from the previous year. Producers expect to harvest 72,000 acres, down 12,000 acres from 2015. U.S. cotton production was forecast at 16 million bales, up 24 percent from 2015.

“The cotton crop continued to be rated in mostly good condition during the month of September,” Ellison said. “As of Oct. 2, the cotton bolls opening was 19 percentage points behind the five-year average.”

Peanut farmers in Virginia anticipate harvesting 72.0 million pounds for 2016, up 4 percent from last year. Acres expected to be harvested total 20,000 acres, up 1,000 from last year. Producers expect a yield of 3,600 pounds per acre, down 50 pounds from 2015.

Virginia flue-cured tobacco production was forecast at 52.8 million pounds, up 7 percent from 2015. Yield was projected at 2,400 pounds per acre, up 100 pounds from the 2015 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 22,000 acres, up 500 acres from last year's crop. U.S. flue-cured production was forecast at 460 million pounds, down 5 percent from last year.

Production of Virginia dark fire-cured tobacco was forecast at 594,000 pounds, up 3 percent from the previous year. Burley tobacco production was forecast at 2.16 million pounds, down 10 percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay production is forecast at 248,000 tons, 10 percent above the 2015 level. Other hay production was estimated at 2.31 million tons, down five percent from last year.

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