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Press Releases

May 11, 2017
Virginia’s Expected Winter Wheat Yields Up 21 Percent from 2016
Contact: Dawn Eischen, 804.786.1904

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its May Crop Production report based on the Agricultural Yield survey conducted at the beginning of the month. The report includes information on Virginia’s winter wheat forecast and on-farm hay stocks. Winter wheat is ranked among the Commonwealth’s top 20 commodities with total farm cash receipts of approximately $75 million annually.

Virginia farmers expect to harvest 8.64 million bushels of winter wheat during 2017. The expected crop for 2017 would be down 7 percent from the previous year. Farmers seeded 190,000 acres last fall with 135,000 acres to be harvested for grain. Based on crop conditions as of May 1, and assuming a normal growing season, farmers expect a yield of 64 bushels per acre, up 11 bushels from 2016. Acres for other uses totaled 55,000 acres and will be used as cover crop or cut as silage or hay.

“The Virginia winter wheat crop experienced a winter storm in mid-March, and reports indicated the damage varied across the state,” said Herman Ellison, NASS Virginia state statistician. “Additionally, some farmers are concerned with wheat disease that has developed from the April moisture conditions, but as of April 30, over half for the crop was headed and in mostly good condition.”

As of May 1, Virginia on-farm hay stocks totaled 540,000 tons, up 120,000 tons from May 1, 2016 stocks. Farmers have used 77 percent of their hay stocks since December 1, 2016.

“I would like to thank all the farmers for taking time out of your busy schedules to respond to the Agricultural Yield Survey,” Ellison added. “The more farmers we have responding to our surveys, the more accurate data we can provide for the agricultural industry. I wish them a very prosperous and healthy year.”

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