In terms of weather March was a good month for N.C. growers, says the Monthly Farm Report, released April 26 by the North Carolina Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The state received mostly above normal precipitation and warmer than usual temperatures. The combination has the growing season a few weeks ahead of schedule, and new crops already planted, as well as small grains, are mostly in good to excellent condition.
Peanuts and winter wheat are the big winners in the state in terms of prospective plantings. With 100,000 acres, North Carolina peanut growers expect to have 22% more peanuts than in 2011. Note, however, that peanut growers nationwide intend to increase peanuts even more, by 25%.
Wheat growers in the state have a forecast 830,000 acres, compared to 700,000 acres last year. That is an increase of 19%. In the U.S., nationwide, wheat is expected to be up, but only by 3% compared to last year.
North Carolina farmers intend to plant 18,000 acres of Irish potatoes in 2011, up from the 17,000 acres planted last year.
Sweet potato growers intend to plant 67,000 acres in the state. That is up 2,000 acres from last year.
At 1.43 million acres, soybean growers in the state expect to have 4% more acres this year. Corn growers will see have an expected increase of 3%.
If intentions go as planned, cotton acres will be down by 13% in the state. Across the U.S. growers expect to plant 11% fewer cotton acres in 2012.
Flue-cured tobacco is expected to be down by 6% in 2012.
March preliminary prices received were $7.15 per bushel for corn, $0.996 per pound for cotton, $0.309 per pound for peanuts, $13.20 per bushel for soybeans and $7.00 per bushel for winter wheat.
To study the full report, download http://www.ncagr.gov/stats/release/FarmReport04.pdf from the state field office.