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Weather weighs on Texas crop production


By Jessica Domel

A wet start to the year and then a lack of rain for much of the state has led to lower production for most Texas crops, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The October Crop Production Report outlines production declines in cotton, corn, sorghum, soybeans and peanuts, but it also shows an increase in rice production.

The report is compiled with a survey of about 1,400 Texas farmers.

Cotton

Texas cotton production is forecast at 6.7 million bales this year due to lower yields and fewer planted acres.

Production is 28 percent lower than the 9.27 million bales realized in 2017 and the 8.1 million bales produced in 2016.

Yields are forecast to average 715 pounds to the acre. That’s 94 pounds to the acre lower than last year and 33 pounds lower than 2016.

About 4.5 million acres of cotton was planted in Texas this year. That’s down 18 percent from last year.

Corn

About 204 million bushels of corn will be produced in Texas this year, which is down 35 percent from the 314 million bushels realized last year.

It’s also lower than the 324 million bushels produced in 2016.

Corn yields averaged 107 bushels per acre this year, which is 33 bushels lower than the 140 bushel average seen in 2017.

USDA estimates around 1.91 million acres will be harvested for grain, down 15 percent from last year.

Grain sorghum

Just over 74 million bushels of grain sorghum will be grown in Texas this year, down from the 94.5 million produced last year.

It’s 41.3 million bushels lower than 2016.

Yields are forecast down 10 bushels an acre to 53 bushels per acre.

About 1.4 million acres of grain sorghum will be harvested, which is seven percent lower than 2017.

Soybeans

Growers told USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service they planted 155,000 acres of soybeans in Texas this year. That’s 16 percent lower than last year.

Yield is expected to average around 32 bushels per acre, which is slightly lower than the 37 bushels realized last year.

Production is forecast at 4.96 million bushels, which is 28 percent lower than the 6.85 million bushels harvested in 2017, but higher than the 4.5 million bushels of soybeans produced in 2016.

Peanuts

Texas farmers are forecast to produce 31 percent fewer peanuts this year at 479 million pounds.

About 697 million pounds were produced in Texas last year, while 560 were grown the year before.

Peanut yields are forecast at 3,300 pounds per acre, down 20 pounds from 2017.

Harvested acreage is forecast at 145,000 acres, down 31 percent from last year.

Rice

Rice is the only crop in the October report with a projected increase in production.

Harvested acreage is forecast at 192,000 acres, up 22 percent from last year.

USDA estimates yields will average 7,100 pounds per acre this year, which is 160 pounds lower than last year.

Production is forecast at 13.6 million hundredweight, up 19 percent from the 11.5 million hundredweight seen in 2017.

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