More barley, cotton, soybeans grown

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports that the commonwealth’s farmers will increase barley acreage by 23,000 this year. Cotton and soybean acreages are up nine percent and two percent, respectively.

Peanut and hay acreage has increased as well, according to a survey conducted in early June by the Virginia Field Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In other farm news, Virginia corn producers reported their last planting was completed at 460,000 acres, down 20,000 acres from last year. Corn producers expect to harvest 320,000 acres for grain in 2010, which is 10,000 fewer acres when compared to 2009.

“Unfortunately conditions in early July are very different from early June when this survey was done,” said Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS commissioner. “We are currently experiencing extended periods of high heat and lack of rainfall all across the Commonwealth. If these conditions continue, our crop yields could be greatly affected in the coming weeks.”

Peanut growers in the commonwealth planted 17,000 acres, showing a significant rebound from 2009. Producers expect to harvest 17,000 acres of peanuts in 2010, up 5,000 acres from 2009.

Barley- seeded acreage increased 34 percent from last year and is estimated at 90,000 acres. Barley producers anticipate harvesting 60,000 acres for grain, which is up 17,000 acres from last year. Twelve thousand acres of oats were planted in Virginia, remaining steady from last year. Slightly more than 33 percent of the planted oats will be harvested for grain.

Virginia’s all hay increased by nine percent from last year at 1,290,000 acres. Other hay acreage increased to 1,200,000 acres. Alfalfa hay will be made on 90,000 acres, remaining steady from 2009.

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