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Georgia crops better than expected

Weather conditions for the 2007 crop year were hot and dry, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office. The spring was drier than normal over most of the state, and this trend continued through most of the summer, as the state endured drought conditions.

Overall, temperatures for the spring and summer were well above normal, with several July days reaching over 100 degrees.

Showers became more frequent during late August and early September. These showers proved most beneficial to crops. The dry fall provided for excellent harvesting conditions.

Considering the weather conditions during the growing season, yields for some crops were much better than earlier anticipated.

The cotton crop was much better than earlier thought for the 2007 crop year. Yield per harvested acre averaged 796 pounds per acre, 12 pounds more than the previous estimate, but 22 pounds less than last year's yield.

Planted acreage was set at 1.03 million acres. Harvested acres, at 995,000 acres, were 15,000 acres less than the previous estimate, and 375,000 acres less than last year. Georgia's production in 2007 is expected to total 1.65 million bales (480 pounds), down 29 percent from the 2.33 million produced in 2006.

Georgia's corn crop for 2007 was better than originally thought. The yield was 130 bushels per harvested acre, tied with 2004 as the second highest yield on record. This yield was 12 bushels more than the previous estimate and 18 bushels more than last year's 112 bushels per acre.

Corn planted for all purposes was 510,000 acres, 230,000 acres more than in 2006. Acreage harvested for grain was at 450,000 acres, 225,000 acres more than last year. Grain production was 58.5 million bushels, up 132 percent from 2006.

Corn harvested for silage numbered 40,000 acres, the same as last year. Silage yield was 18 tons per acre. Corn that was abandoned or for ‘other uses’ was 20,000 acres.

Peanut production for Georgia was 1.64 billion pounds, 2 percent more than in 2006. The increase in production was a result of an increase in yields. Planted acres, at 530,000, were down 9 percent from last year and harvested acres, at 520,000, were down 10 percent from 2006. Yields averaged 3,150 pounds per acre, 370 pounds more than last year.

Timely rains during the latter part of August and early September, plus lots of irrigation made for a much better crop than earlier thought. Digging was slowed due to a later maturing crop and dry soils.

Soybean production is set at 8.25 million bushels. This production is 136 percent more than last year. The increase in production can be attributed to a large increase in acreage, and better yields than the previous year. Planted acres at 285,000, was up 84 percent from last year. Harvested acres at 275,000, was up 96 percent from 2006. Yield averaged 30 bushels per acre, five bushel per acre more than last year.

Tobacco production in 2007 was 39.8 million pounds compared with 30.1 million pounds in 2006. This production represents a 32 percent increase from last year. Yields averaged 2,150 pounds in 2007, compared with 1,770 pounds per acre in 2006.

Acreage was 18,500 compared with 17,000 in 2006. Yields were better than expected due to less disease problems than in past years, timely rains and irrigation.

Sorghum acres planted for all purposes were 65,000 acres, compared to 40,000 acres last year. Harvested acres for grain were 45,000, up 19,000 acres from last year. Yield averaged 46 bushels per acre, 1 bushel per acre more than last year.

Grain production totaled 2,070,000 bushels, up 77 percent from a year earlier. Sorghum harvested as silage was 17,000 acres, 6,000 acres more than last year. Silage yields averaged 13 tons per acre, up 2 tons from 2006.

Hay production in 2007 totaled 1.21 million tons, 3 percent more than in 2006. Yields averaged 1.80 tons per acre from all cuttings, the same as in 2006. The yield of 1.80 tons per acre is the lowest since 1986. Acreage harvested was 670,000 acres, up 20,000 acres from last year.

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