Tennessee farmers took advantage of October’s open weather pattern and kicked harvest into high gear. Corn harvest is now virtually finished for the season while soybean and cotton harvests are not far behind, with over eighty percent of these acreages harvested. State Director, Debra Kenerson, stated, “Given this year’s negative early weather challenges, the 2011 season has been relatively good.” The results from a recent survey of farmers
conducted by the Tennessee Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated slightly lower
soybean and corn prospects than indicated just one month ago, while cotton prospects remained constant. In brief, this forecast showed the following: Corn, 136 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from a month earlier, but up 19 bushels from last year’s yield of 117 bushels; Cotton, 823 pounds per acre, unchanged from a month ago, but down 22 pounds from last year; Soybeans, 34 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from October, and up 3 bushels from 2010.
COTTON PRODUCTION HOLDS STEADY
Tennessee’s cotton production is projected at 840,000 bales, up 23 percent from last year’s production of 681,000 bales, and unchanged from the October 1 forecast. Cotton yields are forecast to average 823 pounds per acre, down 22 pounds from the previous year. Producers expect to harvest 490,000 acres, up 103,000 acres from 2010. An extremely dry August hindered yield potential on acreage planted in June, but cotton planted on-time is yielding surprisingly well. The net effect is an overall average yielding cotton crop. Good harvesting conditions persisted during October and eighty-six percent of the cotton acreage has been harvested.
2011 PRODUCES AN AVERAGE YIELDING SOYBEAN CROP
Soybean production is anticipated to be 42.5 million bushels, down about 3 percent from the 2010 production. Soybean yields are projected at 34.0 bushels per acre, an increase of 3 bushels from 2010, and down 1 bushel from last month. Acreage for harvest is estimated at 1.25 million acres, down 160,000 from a year ago. Mild autumn weather led to excellent harvesting conditions. Soybean harvest picked up momentum and is now proceeding on target with the normal pace with eighty-one percent harvested. Despite this year’s weather challenges of spring storms and late summer drought, the 2011 soybeans have turned out to be an overall average yielding crop.
2011 CORN PRODUCTION SECOND HIGHEST ON RECORD
Tennessee’s corn production is forecast at 99.3 million bushels, up about a third from a year ago and the highest production on record since 1917. Yields averaged 136 bushels per acre, down one bushel from last month’s forecast, but up 19 bushels from 2010 and 13 bushels per acre better than the 5-year average. Farmers harvested 730,000 acres for grain, 90,000 more acres than last year. Virtually all the corn crop has been harvested. Corn yields were highly variable across the state and even within the same county.