Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's winter wheat crop is expected to be down slightly compared to a year ago.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says wheat production is estimated at 17.7 million bushels, a 2 percent drop from the 2013 crop.

Barley production total 2.2 million bushels this year, a 39 percent drop from last year's crop. And the estimated oat production of 234,000 bushels is a 67 percent increase from 2013.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State agriculture officials say this year's winter wheat crop is expected to be larger than what they forecast in May.

But the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says this year's winter wheat crop is still expected to be smaller than last year's crop.

Growers are expected to produce 16.4 million bushels this year. That's 3 percent higher than the May forecast. But the revised forecast is 4 percent decline from 2013's crop.

Virginia's winter wheat average yield is expected to remain unchanged at 62 bushels per acre.

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.