Carolinas Certain to See More Corn Acres in 2013

This has been a banner year for corn production in the Carolinas, and early yield numbers are coming in. NC State Extension Corn specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger discusses some of the ranges:

“For the most part, yields have been very good. In the coastal plains you are getting a range of 80-180. In the Tidewater region, it looks like some of the best corn that we have ever had in that area, they are picking 200-300 bushel corn. When we look state wide, you have some bad areas that will bring the average down a little, but we will be very strong overall. We might break our statewide average of 132. Many of the growers are happy with the price and happy to get a reasonably good corn yield this year.”

With near crop failures three out of the last five years, Heiniger feels that producers that have given up on the crop will be back:

“Corn is a crop that you have to be in for the long haul and do things to avoid as much damage as you can in bad years. I think this year will re-encourage growers to plant more corn. The price will help to put attention back to this crop. It’s a crop that needs to do well here in our state because of our livestock industry. I think growers will find a way to have it in their rotation.”

The Carolinas experienced something of an irrigation boom before the growing season this year, and it’s been a game changer according to Heiniger:
“If you look at the yields under the pivots this year they have 280+ bushel yields. That water is a game changer and when growers make a decision to take advantage of that, they choose corn, because corn is what is going to give them the return on investment.”

And with high prices making corn production more attractive than ever, Heiniger says he expects more acres in the future:

"We are seeing a change here in NC. People are making decisions to grow corn. They are putting the investments into pivots. We will get more acres of corn planted in the future.”

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