corn

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia peanut and soybean growers have planted more acres this year than they did in 2014.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says soybean growers planted an estimated 670,000 acres, an increase of 10,000 acres from 2014.

Peanut growers planted 23,000 acres, an increase of 4,000 acres.

Corn acreage was unchanged at an estimated 500,000 acres.

Upland cotton acreage declined by 2,000 acres to an estimated 85,000 acres.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The latest Virginia crop report forecasts gains in soybean, cotton and peanut production.

But corn production is expected to be down compared to 2013.

The report says 49.7 million bushels of corn are expected to be produced this year. That's down 10 percent from 2013.

Corn producers are expected to harvest 350,000 acres, a decline of 10,000 acres from last year.

Peanut production is expected to be 76 million pounds, up 20 percent from 2013. Cotton and soybean production also is up.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's corn crop is expected to drop 7 percent this year compared to the 2013 crop.

But production of soybeans and other crops is expected to increase.

The forecast is based on Aug. 1 conditions as surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the average corn yield is expected to be 140 bushels per acre, down 14 bushels from 2013.

Don Rush

The recent rains have come in just in time for the corn on the Eastern Shore.

The US Department of Agriculture says the cold front bringing in scattered showers and temperatures in the 80’s later this week are good news for farmers.

And the rain comes just as the corn crop is “silking”, that is, preparing for pollination to create the kernels.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the USDA says in Delaware 68 percent of the crop is in excellent or good condition.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware and Maryland farmers are expecting bumper crops of corn and soybeans this year thanks to good growing conditions.

Federal agriculture officials said Monday that Maryland farmers expect average field corn yields of 155 bushels per acre, up 33 bushels per acre from last year and equal to the state record from 2000.

Delaware farmers expect an average of 165 bushels of corn per acre, up 30 bushels per acre from 2012 and three bushels higher than the record set in 2000.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The rainy spring and early summer has stalled the cutting of hay and prevented tobacco plants from setting deep roots.

But cooperative extension agents say the wet weather hasn't been all bad. Extension crop and soil sciences agent Stephen Barts says the rain has been good for soybean and corn crops.

On the negative side, wheat cutting was lagging because rain and high humidity. The combination is bad for harvesting the grain.

The longer wheat remains in the field, grain's quality declines.

SALISBURY,  Md. (AP) - Maryland agriculture officials are encouraging farmers to buy crop insurance.

Steve Connelly, an Agriculture Department marketing specialist, told The Salisbury Daily Times  that the department is increasing its budget for advertising and translating insurance materials into other languages to promote the use of crop insurance. Connelly says the insurance helps farmers manage risk and offset losses.  

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It’s bad news from the US Department of Agriculture who said that they are forecasting a 13 percent drop in corn production from last year – expected to come in at 10.8 billion bushels.

It’s the first official USDA assessment on the impact of the drought that has swept across the heart of the Corn belt.

The government says the price of a bushel last month was $8 and could reach as high as $8.90.

Soybeans are expected to be hit a bit less hard with production expected to be down by 12 percent over last year at 2.6 billion bushels.  

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says she is among a group of senators asking the Environmental Protection Agency to relax renewable fuel standards to require less corn. Mikulski says that will help ease corn supply shortages caused by drought conditions this year.

Mikulski says other senators signing the letter include Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, and Delaware Sens. Chris Coons and Thomas Carper.  

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With a state drought warning in effect the Maryland Eastern Shore is just one level below a full blown emergency that would lead to mandatory water restrictions.

Salisbury is 10 inches below normal with the 95 degree temperatures hitting the corn crop hard.

Worcester County Commissioner Virgil Shockley told the Salisbury Daily Times that he believes that half of his country's corn crop is doomed.

The Worcester county farmer says some his corn just hasn’t pollinated because of the heat.

National poultry organizations are asking the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress to ease up on the requirement that 40 percent of the corn crop go to ethanol production.

The request comes amidst a drought that has – in some cases – virtually wiped out the corn harvest for many farmers including those on Delmarva.

On Monday, the National Chicken Council handed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a petition asking for a waiver from the Renewable Fuel Standards regulations for the next year.  

The heat wave has hit the corn crop with a vengeance.

And Senator Tom Carper got a firsthand look during a visit to a farm west of Georgetown yesterday.

The Delaware Democrat along with state and federal officials looked over a corn crop on the farm of Mark Davis where the corn found few kernels on the ear.

A recent report says more than 60 percent of the nation is in the throes of the worst drought in decades.

And Davis said he won’t even bother to harvest the non-irrigated corn.

Instead, he will simply mow it down.

The intense heat has local farmers worried about their corn crops.

Richard Nottingham, a University of Maryland Extension agent in Somerset County, told the Salisbury Daily Times that the leaves are beginning to curl under the hot sun.

With temperatures above 95 degrees the pollen could be killed off.

Nottingham said most of the local crops are within two weeks of reaching the critical stage of tasseling which needs moisture.

Rainfall has been spotty in recent weeks with Princess Anne getting around three-tenths of an inch during a thunderstorm last week.