August 14, 2014
Corn harvest file photo.
Favorable weather through most of the 2014 growing row-crop growing season is expected to increase Alabama farmers’ production for corn, soybeans, cotton and peanuts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted yield numbers in its August Crop Production report Aug. 11.
In contrast to increasing yields, commodity prices have plummeted. Corn, soybeans and cotton are all trading at their lowest points in more than four years.
State corn production is expected to hit 46.9 million bushels, up 8 percent over last year. Farmers in the state could harvest a record average yield of 149 bushels per acre.
Alabama soybean farmers are predicted to harvest 20.5 million bushels, up 12 percent from 2013. Peanut harvest is expected to reach 585 million pounds, a 19-percent increase, while cotton production is forecast at 695,000 bales, up 18 percent.
Ample spring rain and moderate summer temperatures helped make up for a dry July across the state. While many areas of Alabama are abnormally dry, drought conditions have been almost nonexistent in 2014.
Nationally, the corn harvest is forecasted at a record 14.0 billion bushels with another record average yield of 167 bushels per acre. An expected 16-percent increase in soybean production would set a U.S. record at 3.82 billion bushels.