August 18, 2017
Although the U.S. corn crop is forecast down 7 percent from last year, Alabama farmers could have record corn yields, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Aug. 10 production forecast.
Alabama corn is estimated at 38.8 million bushels, up 3 percent from 2016. Yields are forecast at 165 bushels an acre, up 45 bushels.
Fayette County’s Lance Whitehead planted 200 acres of corn, 1,700 acres of cotton and 800 acres of peanuts. He expects 140 bushels of corn per acre — if wild hogs don’t destroy it first.
“Feral hogs continue to damage our corn, and we can’t get in the field to pick because of the rain,” he said.
Alabama cotton is forecast at 860,000 bales, up 22 percent, and soybeans should land around 19.4 million bushels, up 48 percent. Despite higher expected yields, the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Carla Hornady said planting was difficult for cotton and soybean farmers.
“Some producers received more rain during planting than they normally get in a year, causing many to replant,” said Hornady, the Federation’s Cotton, Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain divisions director. “Their persistence to get their crop in paid off as rain continued to fall.”
U.S. peanut production is forecast at a record-high 7.43 billion pounds, up 31 percent. Alabama peanuts should weigh in at 866 million pounds, up 39 percent.
“Peanuts are probably the best crop we have,” Whitehead said. “We’re most excited about them.”