2011 Crop Season Comes to a Close

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.
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.
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.
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.