Commissioner Steve Troxler: Corn and Cotton Up, Tobacco and Winter Wheat Down

 

The National Agricultural Statistics Services recently released its June plantings and while corn and cotton plantings are up by 7 percent, tobacco, soybeans, peanuts and winter wheat are down.

  • Sometimes planting intentions surprise me, but the recent release of the June plantings are pretty much about what I expected. Corn and cotton acreage is up, but tobacco, soybeans, peanuts and winter wheat are down from our 2018 numbers.
  • Both corn and cotton acreage is projected to be up 7 percent, with corn at 970,000 acres and cotton at 460,000 acres.
  • Tobacco particularly saw a sharp decline in acreage, which is not surprising given the uncertainty in the market right now. Farmers are looking at harvesting 122,000 acres of flue-cured, down 20 percent from 2018 and just 400 acres of burley, down 47 percent.
  • The numbers for winter wheat are also down significantly at 300,000 acres, a 35 percent decrease from 2018.
  • Soybeans represent our largest crop by acreage. Farmers are projected to harvest 1.5 million acres this year, which is a 9 percent decrease.
  • Peanut acreage is also down, but just 2 percent from 2018 at 100,000 acres.
  • Hay acreage is expected to be unchanged from 2018 with growers expected to cut 816,000 acres this year.
  • I wish we were not looking at these steep cuts in tobacco and winter wheat. Some growers are looking at hemp to replace some of the tobacco acreage, but a lot of this crop is also being grown in greenhouses.
  • It is hard to know whether to be encouraged or discouraged by these numbers. Even with the decline in acreage on some crops, I am still seeing a lot of acreage being planted and farmers looking for a better year.
  • Let’s hope it proves to be!