Virginia cotton production forecast up 90 percent from last year

The October Crop Production report from the National Agriculture Statistics Service shows a continued large increases in projected yields for cotton and peanuts from 2016.

“Virginia farmers were able to harvest their crops ahead of the normal pace during the month of September,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician, NASS. “The weather conditions were hot and dry with the exception of some moisture from Hurricane Irma in the southeast area.”

Virginia cotton production is projected to be 190,000 bales, up 90 percent from last year. Cotton yields are forecast to average 1,099 pounds per acre, up 432 pounds per acre from the previous year. Producers expect to harvest 83,000 acres, up 11,000 acres from 2016. U.S. cotton production was forecast at 21.1 million bales, up 23 percent from 2016. Yields are forecast to average 889 pounds per acre, up 22 pounds from last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 11.4 million acres, up 20 percent from the previous year.

Peanut farmers in Virginia anticipate harvesting 116 million pounds for 2017, up 51 percent from last year. Acres expected to be harvested total 27,000 acres, up 6,000 from last year. Producers expect a yield of 4,300 pounds per acre, up 650 pounds from 2016.

Corn production in Virginia was forecast at 51.7 million bushels, up three percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 152 bushels per acre, up four bushels from the 2016 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 340,000 acres, unchanged from 2016.

Soybean production for Virginia is forecast at 24.8 million bushels, an increase of 15 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 42 bushels per acre, up six bushels from a year ago.

Virginia flue-cured tobacco production was forecast at 49.5 million pounds, up two percent from 2016. Yield was projected at 2,250 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds from the 2016 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 22,000 acres, unchanged from last year’s crop.

Production of Virginia dark fire-cured tobacco was forecast at 532,000 pounds, up two percent from the previous year. Burley tobacco production was forecast at 2.37 million pounds, down six percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay production is forecast at 171,000 tons, 15 percent below the 2016 levelOther hay production was estimated at 2.85 million tons, up eight percent from last year.

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

NASS gathered data for the October Agricultural Yield Survey earlier this month. The monthly yield surveys begin in May with the focus on small grains through July and shifts to row crops beginning in August through the remainder of the growing season.

Reports are available on the NASS website:

For more information about Virginia surveys and reports, call the NASS Virginia Field Office at 800.772.0670, or visit

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