According the USDA Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, New Mexico is on track for a good production year for cotton, grains and peanuts. Producers say the return of more normal rainfall this year helped improve crop yield and quality.
Based on Nov. 1 conditions, USDA-NASS reports all cotton production in New Mexico is expected to total about 80,000 (480-pound) bales, up 21 percent from 2013. Upland cotton harvested acreage is forecast at 35,000 acres, up 4,000 acres from last year.
Also, as of Nov. 1, producers expect to harvest 72,000 bales of upland cotton, up 20 percent from last year. NASS estimates that yield at 987 pounds per acre, unchanged from the Oct. 1 forecast but up 58 pounds per acre from last year.
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The report also indicates that 88 percent of the upland cotton crop bolls had opened, as of Nov. 2, compared with 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the 5-year average. Producers had harvested 20 percent, compared with 14 percent last year and the 5-year average of 31 percent. The cotton crop was rated 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 52 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 17 percent excellent.
Pima harvested cotton acreage in New Mexico is estimated at 4,900 acres, up 1,500 acres from last year. As of Nov. 1, producers expect to harvest 8,000 bales of Pima cotton, compared with 6,000 bales last year. Yield was forecast at 784 pounds per acre, down 63 pounds per acre from last year.
Sorghum production up
NASS forecasts sorghum production at 3.50 million bushels statewide, up 51 percent from the 2.31 million bushels harvested last year.
Growers expect to harvest 76,000 acres this year, up from the 68,000 acres harvested last year. Average yield is forecast at 46 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels per acre from the October 1 forecast and up 12 bushels from last year.
As of November 2, New Mexico’s sorghum crop condition was rated 3 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. NASS estimated sorghum maturity at 60 percent complete, compared with 81 percent last year and the 5-year average of 75 percent; sorghum harvest was estimated at 8 percent complete, compared with 13 percent last year and the 5-year average of 26 percent.
Peanut production is forecast at 15.5 million pounds, down 29 percent from the 21.7 million pounds produced in 2013. Growers expect to harvest 5,000 acres this year, compared with 7,000 acres a year ago. Yields are expected to average 3,100 pounds per acre, unchanged from the October 1 forecast and last year. Peanut production is down as a result of the closing of the Portales peanut processing facility, once a major buyer of regionally-grown Valencia peanuts. Many peanut farmers in eastern New Mexico opted for more cotton and grain this year rather than peanuts as a result of the plant's closing.
As of Nov. 2, New Mexico’s peanut crop condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 71 percent fair, and 7 percent good. Peanut harvest was estimated at 60 percent complete, compared with 74 percent last year and the 5-year average of 63 percent.
U.S. crop highlights
All cotton production in the United States is forecast at 16.4 million bales, up less than 1 percent from last month but 27 percent higher than last year. Yield is expected to average 797 pounds per harvested acre, down 24 pounds from last year.
Upland cotton production is forecast at 15.8 million bales, up 29 percent from 2013. Pima production, forecast at 578,000 bales, was carried forward from last month.
Production of United States sorghum is forecast at 408 million bushels, up 1 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year.
Area harvested for grain is forecast at 6.17 million acres, unchanged from October but down 5 percent from 2013. Based on November 1 conditions, yield is forecast at 66.1 bushels per acre, up 0.7 bushel from last month and up 6.5 bushels from last year.
United States peanut production is forecast at 5.04 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the October forecast and up 21 percent from last year. Area for harvest is expected to total 1.31 million acres, unchanged from October but 25 percent higher than 2013. Based on Nov. 1 conditions, the average yield for the United States is forecast at 3,860 pounds per acre, up 48 pounds from the October forecast but 141 pounds below the 2013 average yield of 4,001 pounds per acre.