Virginia soybeans, peanuts saw highest yields ever in 2017

virginiaThe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released the estimates for crop production in 2017 and the earlier forecast for high yields for soybeans and peanuts held up. Both crops had the highest yields on record. Corn did not meet farmers’ expectations. Information is based on surveys by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS.

“The 2017 final crop yields and production were mixed when compared to 2016 crops,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “The highest yields on record for soybeans and peanuts were the highlight, while corn did not meet farmer’s expectations.”

Soybean production for Virginia is estimated at 26 million bushels, down two percent from the November forecast and up 20 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 44 bushels per acre, down one bushel from last month and up eight bushels from a year ago. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 590,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from the previous year.

Peanut farmers in Virginia are estimated to produce 123 million pounds for 2017, up 60 percent from last year. Acres harvested were estimated at 27,000 acres, up 6,000 acres from last year. Peanut yield is estimated at 4,550 pounds per acre, up 900 pounds from 2016.

Cotton production rebounded nicely from 2016, due to increased acreage devoted to the crop and good yields,” Ellison said. Cotton production is estimated at 195,000 bales, up three percent from the November forecast and up 95 percent from last year. Cotton yields were estimated at 1,128 pounds per acre, up 29 pounds from last month and up 461 pounds per acre from the previous year. Producers harvested 83,000 acres, unchanged from the November forecast and up 11,000 acres from 2016.

“April started with cool temperatures and then severe storms during the month caused some corn to need replanting,” Ellison said. “Early July rain benefited the corn crop, but hot, dry conditions later in the month affected pollination, which caused reported yields to be variable.” Corn production in Virginia is estimated at 47.6 million bushels, down nine percent from the November forecast and down five percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 140 bushels per acre, down 14 bushels from the previous forecast and down eight bushels from the 2016 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 340,000 acres, unchanged acres from 2016.

Virginia flue-cured tobacco production is estimated at 50.6 million pounds, up two percent from the October forecast and up five percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 2,300 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds from October forecast and up 100 pounds from the 2016 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 22,000 acres, unchanged acres from last year’s crop.

Production of Virginia dark fire-cured tobacco is estimated at 581,000 pounds, up 12 percent from the previous year.  Burley tobacco production is estimated at 2.20 million pounds, down 13 percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay production by Virginia farmers is forecast at 193,000 tons, down four percent the 2016 level. Other hay production in Virginia is estimated at 2.65 million tons, unchanged from last year.

“Thank you to all the farmers for taking time to complete the December Agricultural Survey,” Ellison said. “We appreciate their efforts during the end of a busy growing season.”

To view the complete report, visit  For more information, call the NASS Virginia Field Office at (800) 772-0670.

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