Peaches, cotton expected to make big production gains
By Georgia Farm Bureau
Georgia peach production is forecast to nearly double and the state’s cotton growers are projected to produce 38% more cotton in 2019, according to the August Crop Production report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Georgia producers are expected to finish 2019 at 50,000 tons of peaches, up from 26,000 tons in 2018, when a late freeze devastated the state’s peach crop. This would represent a 92% increase.
Georgia cotton growers, whose 2018 production suffered as they were hammered by Hurricane Michael in October, are forecast to produce 2.7 million bales in 2019, up from 1.96 billion bales in 2018.
The state’s corn production is forecast at 56.95 million bushels in 2019, up from 50.16 million bushels in 2018, an increase of 13.5%.
Georgia hay production is expected to decline slightly, from 1.74 million tons in 2018 to 1.68 million tons in 2019, a decline of 3%.
Georgia peanut and soybean production are forecast for significant declines. The state’s peanut growers are expected to produce 2.596 billion pounds in 2019, which would be down from 2.892 billion pounds in 2018. The 10.3% decline is primarily a function of fewer acres being planted in peanuts. The state is expected to produce 3.99 million bushels of soybeans in 2018, which would represent a 26% decline from 2018, when Georgia soybean growers produced 5.4 million bushels.
The state’s tobacco growers are expected to harvest their fewest acres in more than a century, down from 12,500 acres in 2018 to 9,000 acres in 2019. Production is forecast at 18 million pounds in 2019, down from 23.75 million pounds in 2018, a decline of 24 percent which would represent the state’s lowest tobacco production since 1932.
Meanwhile, a USDA report released on Aug. 12 indicated that agricultural producers nationwide were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019. This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year. More than 73 percent were in 12 Midwestern states, where flooding this year prevented plantings mostly corn, soybeans and wheat.
Official USDA estimates of total acres planted, harvested and to be harvested, yield, and production are available from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service at www.nass.usda.gov.