Virginia wheat and barley production down in 2016

virginiaVirginia farmers harvested 9.28 million bushels of winter wheat during the summer of 2016 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

This was down 33 percent from the previous year and down 4 percent from the August forecast. Yield is estimated at 53 bushels per acre, down 13 bushels from 2015 and down 2 bushels from the August forecast. Farmers seeded 210,000 acres last fall, down 50,000 acres from 2015. Area harvested for grain totaled 175,000 acres. Acres for other uses totaled 35,000 acres.

“This year’s winter wheat crop experienced a cold, wet spring in some areas in the state,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “The wheat yield is the lowest since 2010 when yield was estimated at 51 bushels per acre.”

Barley production for Virginia is estimated at 804,000 bushels, down 33 percent from the 2015 total. Average yield per acre, at 67 bushels, is down 8 bushels from the previous year. Producers seeded 33,000 acres in 2016, down 13,000 acres from last year. Harvested area, at 12,000 acres, is down 4,000 acres from 2015.

“Due to freeze damage some Virginia barley growers abandoned fields this year,” Ellison said. “The average barley yield is estimated the same as 2010 when the yield was estimated at 67 bushels per acre.”

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