August 14, 2023
Along with an increase in expected harvested corn acres, it looks like the weather cooperated enough to push the forecast for Southeast corn production and yields past last year’s mark.
Much of the Southeast enjoyed extreme weather this growing season. A majority of the region is still enjoying it, from a cool, wet start to a dry, record heat then back to sporadic heavy, multi-inch downpours in some locations.
The USDA Crop Production Report was released Aug. 11.
According to the report, Alabama farmers are predicted to harvest 350,000 acres, or 60,000 acres more than 2022, and produce 55.7 million bushels, which is 63% higher than 2022. Expected average yield is 159 bushels per acre, about 40 bushels more than last year’s average.
Jody Childs grows corn, peanut and cotton in Alabama’s southeast Wiregrass Region, where it had been hit or miss with late-summer rain. Heat had ruled much of it. On Aug. 12, he said he expected a good corn crop, but record-setting yields weren’t likely.
“No, I don’t think (we've had) record yields here. Dry weather conditions and extreme heat really hurt that. Irrigated acres look good, but the dryland looks not so good. Now, we have swapped over to irrigating peanuts and cotton nonstop. We need a rain and some cooler conditions,” Childs said.
Up in Alabama’s northeast corner, things looked different.
Eddie McGriff is the Alabama Cooperative Extension System area agronomist there. On Aug. 12, he told Southeast Farm Press that growers hadn’t started harvesting yet, but they were looking at exceptional corn and soybean yields.
“Corn growers really upping their game with corn management and timely rainfall would be the two factors to account for our excellent yield potential. We just need good harvest weather,” McGriff said. “In areas of North Alabama, we've got enough rain where our dryland crop may be as good as some of our irrigated crop, but I'm looking at some of the better yields, if we don't have bad harvest weather, on dryland being 250 or above.”
Georgia farmers are predicted to harvest 430,000 acres, or about 45,000 acres more than 2022, and produce 74.8 million bushels, about 11% more than last year. The expected average yield at 174 bushels per acre is about the same as last year’s average.
South Carolina farmers expect to produce 51.1 million bushels, up 40% from 2022, and make it on 370,000 acres with a 138 bushel per acre average yield, or 16 bushel more than last year’s average.
Corn production in Kentucky is forecast at 270 million bushels, up 28% from the previous crop. Yield is estimated at 186 bushels per acre, up 30 bushels from the 2022 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.45 million acres, up 100,000 acres from 2022.
“When weather cooperates, Kentucky farmers are capable of growing a tremendous amount of grain”, said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky.
The USDA forecast pegged Kentucky with its highest corn and wheat yields on record, along with its largest soybean production, and the second largest corn and wheat crops in history.
Corn production in Tennessee was forecast at 163 million bushels, up 57% from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 172 bushels per acre, up 42 bushels from the 2022 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 945,000 acres, up 150,000 acres from 2022.
Corn production for grain in the United States is forecast at 15.1 billion bushels, up 10 percent from 2022. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 175.1 bushels per harvested acre.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Current Conditions for
New York, NY
Enter a zip code to see the weather conditions for a different location.