jump to example.com

Virginia growers expected to plant additional cotton, peanuts

virginia-blue-oversizeAfter a cold and wet early spring, Virginia farmers are ready to get their crops in the ground. Corn plantings across the state are behind schedule. Cotton and peanut producers are expecting to plant more acres this year, while producers of other major row crops are pulling back a bit.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s spring planting survey findings released March 31, cotton plantings are expected to increase 5 percent, to 82,000 acres. Virginia peanut producers are expected to plant 18,000 acres this year, an increase of 2,000 from 2013. Both crops are grown almost exclusively in Southeast Virginia.

The decision by growers to increase their plantings was not made in haste and was not prompted solely by price trends, said Jonah Bowles, senior agriculture market analyst with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

“You need special equipment to pick cotton or peanuts,” Bowles said. “So you’re not going to see those producers respond to prices as much as your average corn and wheat producer” who can use the same tractors and harvesters for both crops.

In addition, many row crop producers in Southeast Virginia rotate crops among corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and cotton, Bowles said. So sometimes they plant a crop not because they expect to make a profit, but because it is the year that crop needs to be planted to break insect and disease cycles.

There also are global market conditions to consider.

“With cotton in particular, when a producer looks at the upcoming year or two and evaluates his profitability, it has nothing to do with domestic demand,” Bowles said. “He looks to export demand and foreign buyers’ ability to purchase his crop. Indonesia and Vietnam and Pakistan are just some of our destination markets for cotton.”

U.S. cotton plantings are expected to rise 7 percent from 2014, according to the survey. Virginia corn plantings are expected to decrease by 10,000 acres to 500,000. Nationwide corn plantings are expected to decline 4 percent from last year’s levels, although they still will be among the largest corn plantings on record since 1944, according to the usda.

Soybean plantings nationwide are expected to be at a record-high 81.5 million acres, while Virginia soybean plantings are estimated to remain the same as last year’s 600,000 acres. Virginia’s winter wheat plantings decreased 9 percent last fall from the previous year’s level, to 290,000 acres.

The usda surveyed farmers March 1, and some are still in this year’s planning stages, so the survey findings serve as a first estimate of how this year’s crop season will play out.

Discussion
 
Recent Posts
 
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.