NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: November Crop Report Released, Yields Mixed

The National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released its November crop report with mixed news on yields. Corn and soybeans were up, but cotton and peanut yields were down. We will be watching closely for impacts from the rainy weather at the end of last week.

  • Last week, we ended up getting pretty heavy rains across the state that lead to flooding in many areas. It’s been an especially busy hurricane season this year, particularly in the Gulf, but I am grateful last week was only remnants of Hurricane Eta and not a more direct hit.
  • We continue to remain watchful for hurricanes even as we near the end of the season. 2020 has had so many surprises, I think we are all ready for it to go.
  • We have not received any official reports of significant agricultural damage, but based on the heavy rain, I suspect we could see some impacts to soybeans, sweet potatoes and cotton – depending on whether farmers were able to get sweet potatoes and remaining cotton out of the field.
  • Several rivers in Eastern North Carolina were expected to crest over the weekend, so I may be hearing more from farmers.
  • As farmer and listeners know, you could be on tap to have a decent season and one bad storm could turn that upside down. I hope that won’t be the case with this rain and flooding.
  • The National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released its November crop report, which showed mixed yields. Corn and soybeans were looking up, while cotton and peanut yields were down.
  • Based on the report, soybean production is estimated to be up 15 percent from 2019 at 61.2 million bushels. Yield estimates are 39 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from 2019.
  • Harvested acreage is projected to be 1.57 million acres, 50,000 up from 2019.
  • Corn yield was also looking up on the November report.
  • Projected corn yield estimates are 117 bushels per acre, up 6 bushels per acre from 2019. Harvested acreage is projected at 940,000, up 10,000 acres from 2019.
  • Overall production is forecast at 110 million bushels, which is up 7 percent.
  • While the harvested acreage of peanuts is expected to be up by 3,000 acres at 105,000, the production forecast is expected to be down 4 percent to 430.5 million pounds.
  • Estimated yields on peanuts is 4,100 pounds, down 300 pounds per acre.
  • Cotton yields last year were close to 1,000 pounds per acre. This report estimated yields of 819 pounds per acre, with production forecast at 580,000 bales. That would be 44 percent below 2019 when production was 1 million bales.
  • We’ll be watching closely to see what the aftermath of these heavy rains are.
  • I want to put a final plug in for the Organic Cost Share Program. Nov. 20 is the deadline to apply for up to a $500 reimbursement on certification costs. If you are an organic producer who was certified between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, you are eligible to apply for the cost share program. You can find the application on our website at ncagr.gov.