Virginia growers should be happy with some optimistic crop forecasts for 2011. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced August 10 that Virginia's winter wheat yield is forecast at 72 bushels per acre compared with 51 bushels per acre a year earlier.
Production is expected to total 18.7 million bushels, up 129% from the previous year. Harvested acreage is up 100,000 acres from 2010 to 260,000 acres.
Those are some pretty impressive numbers for Virginia growers. Growers should keep in mind these statistics are forecasts, however. All estimates are based on surveys by the Virginia Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS).
Corn yields are expected to be 116 bushels per acre, up 39 bushels per acre from last year. Production is estimated at 39.4 million bushels, up 90% from 2010. Harvested acres are estimated at 340,000.
Peanut producers expect to harvest 14,000 acres, a 4,000 acre decrease from the previous year. Yield is forecast at 3,300 pounds per acre, up 1,500 pounds from last year's yield. Resulting production will be 46.2 million pounds, up 43% from 2010's production.
Soybean producers currently expect to harvest 550,000 acres with an average yield of 35 bushels per acre, up nine bushels per acre from last year. Production is expected to total 19.3 million bushels, up 37% from last year.
Cotton yield is forecast to average 981 pounds per acre, up 249 pounds from last year's 732 pounds per acre. If realized, production would be 233,000 bales, up 86% from last year. Producers expect to harvest 114,000 acres in 2011, up 39% from last year.
Flue tobacco producers currently expect yields to average 2,400 pounds, up 120 pounds from 2010. Production will total 44.4 million pounds from 18,500 acres.
Burley yields are expected to average 1,700 pounds, down 200 pounds from last year. Production is expected to total 3.4 million pounds, up 12 percent from 2010. Producers expect to harvest 2,000 acres, up 400 acres from the previous year.
Fire-cured tobacco yields are expected to average 1,800 pounds per acre, down 290 pounds from 2010. Production is expected to total 990,000 pounds, down 37% from 2010. Producers expect to harvest 550 acres in 2011, down 15% from last year.
Hay producers expect to harvest 70,000 acres of alfalfa hay with an average yield of 4.0 tons per acre. Production is expected to total 280,000 tons, up 52% from 2010. NASS expects 1.28 million acres of other hay to be harvested in Virginia. The yield for other hay is expected to average 2.10 tons per acre. Production is expected to total 2.69 million tons, up 34% from the previous year.
Barley yields averaged 83 bushels per acre, up 16 bushels per acre from last year. The resulting production will total 5.81 million bushels. Barley producers harvested 70,000 acres, which was up 22,000 acres from last year.
Nationwide, all wheat production is expected to be down 1% from the July forecast: corn is on track for the third largest production total and the fourth highest yield on record.