Last Thursday the USDA released their prospective plantings report. We have seen the US figures for crops, lets talk about what to expect in NC:
“What we tend to see is that when a commodity does very well one year, its followed up with increased plantings. This year is not different. NC farmers intend to plant more corn, wheat and tobacco; all three of which had a good year last year.
One thing I’m seeing is that tobacco companies are really recruiting growers to grow tobacco, which means there is demand out there. That is good, flue cured growers say they will plant about 170,000 acres this year, about 4% more than last year, and they had a good yield in 2012.
There is a lot of winter wheat out there. It’s good to see NC green this time of year, with about 960,000 acres in the ground, 16% more than 2012.
Cotton acres will be reduced and its in response to what has happened in the previous year. Prices bottomed out on cotton and they are not very good. Growers will plant about 450,000 acres this year, that’s 23% less than last year.
With corn, we were the beneficiary last year of good prices and good weather. We will plant about 890,000 acres this year, up 3% from last year. Prices continue to be strong and there is good demand from our livestock industry in NC.
For peanuts, we think we will see about 80,000 acres, that’s down 25% from last year. We had a record yield last year, and the combination of supply and demand has affected prices and contracts.
Soybeans are stable, we are projected to plant about 1.6 million acres, down about 1% from last year.
With sweet potatoes, we will still be the largest grower in the country, but we will plant less, about 58,000 acres, 5,000 less than 2012. It’s a reflection of supply and demand. We have had very good yields for several years running and I think its time for the plantings to catch up with the market.
These are just intentions, it will be the end of June before we know what the true acreage is. A bump in the weather or changes in commodity prices, can change this potential planted acreage."