September rains gave way to lower than normal precipitation and cool weather in October. The silver lining was that the weather allowed farmers to continue harvesting their cotton corn, peanuts and soybeans.
A Nov. 9 report from the North Carolina Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service rated moisture for N.C. producers in October at 1% very short, 13% short, 81% adequate and 5% surplus. For comparison, the Monthly Farm Report, released two weeks earlier on Oct. 6, rated moisture at 1% very short, 8% short, 63% adequate and 28% surplus. Those statistics demonstrate a significant diminishment in soil moisture in September, particularly in the very short, and surplus categories.
Cotton yield is forecast at 660 pounds per acre in the Nov. 9 report, down 21% from last year's yield of 838 pounds per acre. Production is forecast at 1.1 million bales, up 16% from last year's production of 951,000 bales. The increase is due largely to an increase in harvested acres, however. This year farmers are expected to harvest 800,000 acres of cotton, compared with 545,000 acres in 2010.
Corn yield is forecast at 82 bushels per acre, down 9 bushels per acre from last year. Production in the Nov. 9 report is forecast at 65.6 million bushels, 14% less than 2010. Harvested acres are forecast at 800,000 acres, down 40,000 acres from last year.
However peanut yield per acre is up in the Nov. 9 report, forecast at 3,500 pounds per acre. That is up 800 pounds per acre from last year. Peanut production is forecast at 283.5 million pounds, up 22% from 2010. The projections are for N.C. farmers to harvest 81,000 acres of peanuts, down 5,000 acres compared to 2010.
In the Nov. 9 report the forecast soybean yield was unchanged from the Oct. 26 Monthly Farm report, at 31 bu. per acre. Producers will harvest a projected 1.35 million acres of soybeans, down 200,000 acres from 2010.