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Virginia yields for tobacco, soybeans, hay look positive

staff report • Oct 13, 2012 at 4:09 AM

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced earlier this week that, based on conditions as of Oct. 1, Virginia’s soybean yields are expected to be 39 bushels per acre, which is one bushel per acre less than last year’s record of 40 bushels per acre.Production is estimated at 22.62 million bushels, up 3 percent from 2011. Harvested acres are at 580,000, up 30,000 acres from last year. Yield and production data come from surveys conducted by the Virginia Field Office of the National Agriculture Statistics Service.Nationally soybean yields are expected to average 37.8 bushels per acre, up 2.5 bushels from last month but down 4.1 bushels from last year.Virginia’s corn yields are forecast to average 95 bushels per acre, down 23 bushels per acre from last year. If realized, production would be 33.25 million bushels, down 17 percent from 2011. Producers expect to harvest 350,000 acres for grain this year.Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, national corn yields are expected to average 122.0 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushel from the September forecast and 25.2 bushels below the 2011 average. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995.Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.7 million acres, up less than one percent from the September forecast and up four percent from 2011. National corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, down slightly from the September forecast and down 13 percent from 2011. This represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006.Virginia alfalfa hay production is expected to be up 8 percent from last year to 312,000 tons. Alfalfa yield is expected to average 3.90 tons per acre compared with 3.20 tons per acre in 2011. The forecasted yield for other hay is 2.20 tons per acre which is the same as last year. Other hay production is forecast at 2.82 million tons, unchanged from 2011.Cotton producers currently expect to harvest 85,000 acres in Virginia with an average yield of 960 pounds per acre which is 284 pounds per acre more than last year’s hurricane damaged crop. Production is expected to total 170,000 bales, up 5 percent from last year.Burley tobacco producers expect an average yield of 1,900 pounds per acre from 2,700 acres. Production is forecast at 5.13 million pounds, up 1.3 million pounds from last year.Flue-cured tobacco yield is forecast at 2,400 pounds per acre, up 170 pounds from 2011. Production is estimated to be 48.0 million pounds, up 4.52 million pounds from last year.Fire-cured tobacco yield is forecast at 1,850 pounds per acre, down 250 pounds from 2011. If realized, production would total 703 thousand pounds, down 16 percent from last year.The forecasted peanut yield of 4,000 pounds per acre is down 100 pounds per acre from the record set in 2011. Production is forecast at 80.0 million pounds, up 30 percent from last year. Virginia’s 2011 crop set a national yield record with 4,100 pounds per acre.

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