Tuesday - November 19, 2019
New Agriculture Numbers Have Been Released
Written by Ashton Baysden   
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 13:20

RALEIGH — The National Agricultural Statistic Service has released its latest numbers, reflecting an overall positive year for North Carolina. Several crops have shown dramatic increases; however, other crops are still struggling to bounce back from the excessive rain that caused problems last year.

“This time, there’s no surprises,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Corn and cotton acreage is up. Tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, and winter wheat are down from our 2018 numbers, and there’s reasoning behind each one of these changes.”

Wet weather in the Midwest has resulted in increased prices on corn, allowing more and more acres of the crop to be planted in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, the figures show a less promising future for tobacco.

“We’re going to see a steep decline in tobacco acreage,” said Troxler. “It’s not surprising, given the uncertainty of the market and China being out of the market. That’s going to be bad. Farmers are looking to harvest 122,000 acres. That’s a 20% cut from 2018. We’re in a very uncertain area with tobacco right now.”

In addition to tobacco, winter wheat is down by 35% from 2018, as wet conditions last fall made it difficult to plant wheat. Meanwhile, what farmers were able to plant will most likely produce reduced yields. However, hemp is expected to replace some of what was lost in the aforementioned crops. The new figures show that approximately 15,000 acres of industrial hemp will be planted this year, and a majority of the compensation will take place in value rather than acreage.

While the decline of crops like winter wheat and tobacco can be attributed to economics and weather, there are other causes for the decline in North Carolina soybean acreage.

“The soybean thing is a corn thing. There’s always that decision: ‘do I plant soybeans or do I plant corn?’” said Troxler. “This year, the prices said, ‘plant corn.’ Soybeans, of course, have been affected in the Midwest, and those commodity prices are also beginning to climb.”

Peanut crops are also down from 2018 by 2%.

Despite the decline of several crops, officials are remaining hopeful that North Carolina will continue to bounce back from last year’s inclement weather.

 
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