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Stellar start

Tennessee’s corn harvest estimated to reach record-setting increases in both production and yield for most crops over last year
By Sarah Geyer 9/29/2017


As of The Cooperator’s mid-September press time, Tennessee corn producers are in the midst of harvesting an estimated record-setting crop for 2017, reaching an anticipated 131 million bushels and averaging 168 bushels per acre.
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As of press time (Sept. 19), Tennessee corn producers are in the midst of an estimated record-setting harvest. According to the Sept. 12 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Tennessee corn yields are expected to average 168 bushels, up 17 bushels from last year and a record for the state. Production is expected to also surpass last year by at least 5 percent with an estimated 131 million bushels.

“Even though planting got off to a late start, we received the right amount of rain and near-perfect growing conditions this season,” says Alan Sparkman, manager of agronomy marketing for Tennessee Farmers Cooperative. “We should have some very happy growers this year. We’ve been hearing some great numbers and look forward to seeing the final count.”

The NASS report also estimates increases in production for nearly every production crop and in yields for soybeans and burley tobacco over last year. Debra Kenerson, the Tennessee state statistician who compiled the report says,  “This is a very promising season for agricultural producers in Tennessee.”

The state’s soybean production is forecast at 82.6 million bushels, up from last year by 13 percent with yields expected to average 48 bushels per acre, a three-bushel increase for 2016. 

Cotton production is estimated to increase 29 percent over last year with 740,000 bales, while yields are expected to average 1,045 pounds per acre, a slight decrease of 59 pounds per acre as compared with 2016.

“We were hoping to see another record yield for cotton this year,” says Brandon Sheridan, TFC agronomist, “but an estimated average of 1,045 pounds per acre is still well above what we typically see in West Tennessee.”

Burley tobacco should see both a production and yield increase from last year, with a 19 percent increase at 19.2 million pounds and an estimated yield of 1,600 pounds per acre, up 250 pounds.

Both dark fire-cured and air-cured tobacco should see increased production compared to 2016, with an estimated 23.3 million pounds of fire-cured, up 36 percent and 4.16 million pounds of air-cured, up 78 percent.

Look for expanded harvest coverage in The Cooperator’s December issue.

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