Today’s Topic: N.C. crops withstand wet 2013

By on January 21, 2014

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

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With so much water falling across the state in 2013, it wasn’t a record-setting year for field crops in North Carolina, but Commissioner Troxler says it could’ve been worse if not for the hard work and skill of N.C. farmers.

The USDA’s crop summary for North Carolina showed that the average corn yield set a record at 142 bushels per acre. That’s a 10-bushel increase over the previous record, which was set in 2006. Corn production is forecast to total 123.5 million bushels, which is 29 more than 2012. Harvested acres were 870,000, up 50,000 acres.

The sweet potato crop matched its record yield of 20,000 pounds per acre. The crop also had that yield in 2012, 2011 and 2009. But the number of acres dropped by 9,000 last year, to 53,000 acres. As a result, total production dropped 15 percent to just over 1 billion pounds.

Peanuts had a really good yield, but it just didn’t match the whopper of a record set in 2012. The 2013 yield was 3,900 pounds per acre, 200 pounds less than the previous year.

Soybean yields totaled 33 bushels per acre, slightly above the 10-year average.

A crop that did suffer from too much water was cotton. The cotton yield of 819 pounds per acre was 195 pounds less than 2012’s yield. Production totaled 785,000 bales, a 36 percent decrease.

Tobacco farmers harvested 181,900 acres, 10 percent more than in 2012. But yields of flue-cured and burley tobacco were lower because of the wet weather.

The flue-cured yield averaged 2,000 pounds per acre, compared with 2,300 in 2012. The burley yield was 1,400 pounds per acre, 500 pounds less than the previous year.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the 2013 crop totals and how good prices helped offset lower yields for tobacco.

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