Flue-cured tobacco growers will produce 6% more tobacco in Virginia in 2012, compared to last year. Virginia tobacco production is expected to total 46.2 million pounds this year, according to the Virginia Field Office of the National Agriculture Statistics Service in a report released July 11. Acres harvested are also up, at 21,000 acres. In 2011 growers harvested 19,500 acres.
Yield is forecast at 2,200 pounds per acre. That is down 30 pounds from last year.
Over recent years, there has been considerable shift of flue-cured in the tobacco-growing region, with a higher percentage of flue-cured moving to North Carolina. The increase of tobacco in Virginia this year will be welcome news to Commonwealth growers.
Wheat producers in Virginia are forecast to produce yields of 65 bushels per acre in 2012 (yield forecasts are based on conditions as of July 1). The forecast is unchanged from the June 2012 forecast.
Wheat production in the state is expected to total about 17.6 million bushels down from last year's total wheat crop of 17.8 million bushels. Producers expect to harvest 270,000 acres of wheat this year, 20,000 acres more than in 2011.
Barley yields in Virginia are expected to average 83 bushels per acre. That is down five bushels per acre from last year. Barley production is forecast to total 3.74 million bushels, down 39% from 2011. Harvested acreage is expected to total 45,000 acres, down 25,000 acres from last year.
Barley is sometimes seen as a competitor for acreage with wheat in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic states. Winter wheat is the predominant small grain crop but over recent years there has been some increased demand for barley and this has changed the balance of crops in the state to some degree. The 39% decline in barley would seem to indicate a reversal of this trend.