Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Crop Update for South Carolina

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the August Crop Production Report last week, and Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us a little about the outlook for South Carolina and the US.

  • In general: Corn, soybean, peanut and tobacco production are all down from last year in SC and nationwide, while cotton and peaches are up.
  • Corn
    • South Carolina corn for grain production is forecast at 37.6 million bushels, down 4 percent from 2018.
    • US corn production is also down 4 percent, forecast at 13.9 billion bushels.
  • Cotton
    • SC cotton production is forecast at 550,000 bales, up 31 percent from last year’s crop.
    • Hurricanes Florence and Michael hurt last year’s cotton crop in SC.
    • US cotton production is up 23 percent.
  • Peanuts
    • Peanut production is forecast at 217 million pounds, down 22 percent from last year.
  • Peaches
    • SC peach production is at 93,000 tons.
    • That’s up 41 percent over last year’s crop, which was damaged by early cold.
  • Soybeans
    • SC soybean production is forecast at 10.5 million bushels, down 5 percent from 2018.
    • US soybean production is forecast at 3.68 billion bushels, down 19 percent from 2018.
  • Tobacco
    • Harvested acreage is forecast at 17 million pounds, down 23 percent from last year.
    • Lowest acreage since 1893 and lowest production since 1911.
  • There’s no doubt that market conditions and early hot weather have made things difficult this year, but South Carolina farmers are resilient, and we’ll keep supporting them the best we can.