Anticipated cotton, peanut, soybean yields increase

Published 11:00 am Monday, October 1, 2012



CAPRON— The National Agricultural Statistics Service now expects Virginia’s cotton yield to be 988 pounds per acre, up from 914 pounds per acre on Aug. 1.

The prediction of peanuts is 3,700 pounds per acre, which is a 400 pounds per acre increase from August.

While statewide expectations have improved, Clarke Fox with Fox Hill Farms in Capron remains optimistic about this year’s cotton and peanut harvest.

“There’s nothing in the barn yet, but there’s the potential to have a good crop,” Fox said.

He sprayed cotton to defoliate leaves two weekends ago, which means harvesting is near. He planned to begin digging peanuts from his 2,000-acre farm this week.

In related matters, a significant improvement in weather conditions since July is credited for potentially higher soybean yields. An average of 36 bushels per acre from 540,000 acres is anticipated. This is an increase of two bushels per acre since the early August forecast.

Corn is anticipated at about 95 bushels per acre, which is up four bushels from the August prediction. A production total of 33.25 million bushels is expected, down 17 percent from 2011

“The corn harvest is almost complete,” said Southampton County Agriculture Extension Agent Chris Drake. “Yields were above average to excellent in many areas of the county with the exception of some drought-stressed areas in Joyner, Drewryville and south of Franklin down route 258.”

“Peanuts are being dug now and look very promising from what I have seen and heard,” Drake continued. “Cotton defoliation is just about to start full steam. Yields will be all over the board depending on the amount of damage from hardlock and boll rot.”

Hardlock is when the bolls will not open due to adverse weather and physiological factors, he said. Ball rot is when opened bolls are spoiled from too much moisture.

“We have seen quite a bit of these two problems in fields all across the county due to excessive rainfall and humidity,” Drake said.

Another crop looking good is soybeans.

“Soybeans look outstanding for the most part and yield forecast is excellent for that crop this far,” added Drake.