Today’s Topic: NC farmers say they’ll plant more corn, sweet potatoes this year

By on April 14, 2015

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

Each year at this time, there’s talk about how many acres of certain crops farmers will plant. Recently, USDA’s annual Prospective Plantings report showed that North Carolina farmers intend to plant a little more corn and sweet potatoes, and a bit less cotton and tobacco, than they did last year.

Here are some notable numbers from the report:

  • Farmers say they’ll plant 870,000 acres of corn this year, which is 4 percent more than in 2014.
  • They’re intending to plant 75,000 acres of sweet potatoes, a 3 percent increase.
  • Cotton acreage is expected to drop 19 percent, to 375,000 acres.
  • Tobacco is forecast to be down 9 percent, to 175,000 acres.
  • Soybeans will remain stable at 1.75 million acres.
  • Peanut farmers say they will plant 94,000 acres, the same amount as last year.

Farmers’ decisions about what to plant are usually influenced by prices, production costs, and supply and demand. In the case of tobacco, 2014 was a big year, both in the U.S. and other countries. North Carolina had its biggest crop since the late ‘90s. That has led to a reduction in contracts this year, so acres will fall.

A better picture of actual plantings will be revealed when USDA’s acreage report comes out in late June.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss farmers’ planting intentions.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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