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August survey: Alabama crop potential reduced

A second consecutive year of drought conditions has reduced potential yields for Alabama’s crops as reported by farmers during the Aug. 1 crop production survey.

As of Aug. 1, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that counties from central to north Alabama are continuing to experience the D4 or exceptional drought conditions. With little to no rain throughout the state, the top soil moisture is 77 percent very short to short.

The corn crop as of Aug. 5 was rated 77 percent very poor to poor with 65 percent of the crop having reached the dent stage. The corn yield is forecast at 65 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from last year.

About 48 percent of cotton crop condition is rated in the fair to good condition, with 94 percent cotton squaring and 66 percent setting boils.

Aug. 1 cotton lint yield is set at 652 pounds per acre, a 73 pound per acre increase from 2006. Cotton production is forecast at 530,000 bales.

Some growers have bailed their second cutting of hay, yet the level of supply is still very short. The hay crop is expected to yield 1.7 tons per acre and production is 1,360,000 tons, down 6 percent from last year.

Forty-four percent of peanuts are in good to excellent condition with most fields showing good stands. Peanut yield is expected at 2,300 pounds per acre down, 200 pounds from the previous year.

A higher percentage of soybean acreage was late planted in 2007, mainly due to double-cropping.

Insect and disease pressure has remained relatively low. Soybean conditions are 42 percent fair to good, with 85 percent of soybeans bloomed and 45 percent setting pods. The yield for soybeans is estimated at 26 bushels per acre, giving a production of 4,420,000 bushels.

Low soil moisture, due to dry weather, has also taken its toll on the potato crop, which is expected to yield 120 cwt per acre, down 30 cwt from 2006.

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