Peanut production increases and soybeans hit record, says USDA report

Brad Haire, Southeast Farm Press

U.S. peanut production is on track to be the second largest ever. Cotton production ticked up but remains well below last year’s level, and soybean farmers planted their largest acreage ever, according to the USDA September Crop Production Report released Sept. 11.

U.S. peanut farmers planted 1.62 million acres and expect to harvest 1.58 million acres. Average yield is pegged at 3,996 pounds per acre, up 46 pounds from the August report. This average pushes expected total production to 3.16 million tons. This will be the second-largest production behind only the 2012 production of 3.35 million tons from the 1.63 million acres planted that year.

Georgia peanut farmers planted 790,000 acres and expect to harvest 780,000 acres with a 4,400-pound-per-acre average, 200 pounds higher than predicted just last month. Georgia peanut farmers will produce 1.7 million tons, or half of the total U.S. production in 2015.

All cotton production is forecast at 13.4 million 480-pound bales, up 3 percent from the August forecast but down 18 percent from 2014. Yield is expected to average 789 pounds per harvested acre, down 6 percent from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 13 million 480-pound bales, down 18 percent from 2014. Pima cotton production, forecast at 451,000 bales, is down 20 percent from last year.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.94 billion bushels, up slightly from August but down 1 percent from last year. Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 47.1 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from last month but down 0.7 bushel from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 83.5 million acres, unchanged from August but up less than 1 percent from 2014, according to the September report.

Corn production is forecast at 13.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from last year's record production and down less than 1 percent from the August forecast. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 167.5 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from the August forecast and down 3.5 bushels from 2014, according to the report. If realized, this will be the second highest yield and third largest production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 81.1 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 2 percent from 2014.

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