Colorado crop production numbers released
Winter wheat production is now forecast at 80.0 million bushels, up 8.0 million bushels from the July 1 forecast but down 24 percent from the 105.8 million bushels produced last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Colorado Field Office.
Growers harvested an estimated 2.0 million acres this year with an average yield of 40.0 bushels per acre, 5.0 bushels below the record high 45.0 bushels per acre attained last year. As harvest progressed, producers found higher yields than originally expected. Dry planting conditions last fall combined with dry, early spring growing conditions contributed to lower yield prospects, but timely moisture received from widespread thunderstorms and moderate temperatures led to an above average yield at harvest.
Barley production is forecast at 8.4 million bushels, up nearly 1 percent from last year's crop. The area for harvest in 2011, at 67,000 acres, is also up from last year by 4,000 acres. Barley yield is estimated at 126.0 bushels per acre, 7.0 bushels below last year, but unchanged from the July 1 forecast.
Corn production is forecasted at 162.5 million bushels, down 11 percent from last year's 182.7 million bushels. The 1.25 million acres expected to be harvested for grain this year is 3 percent greater than a year ago. Average yield is expected to decrease 21.0 bushels per acre from last year to 130.0, due to dry growing conditions and a greater proportion of dryland acreage expected to be harvested for grain.
Sorghum production in 2011 is forecast at 4.9 million bushels, down 34 percent from the 7.5 million bushel crop harvested a year earlier. Growers expect to harvest 130,000 acres this year, down from 160,000 acres harvested last year. Dry conditions have lowered yield prospects 9.0 bushels below a year ago as producers expect to average 38.0 bushels per acre this year.
Dry bean production for 2011 is forecast at 627,000 hundredweight, down 50 percent from the 1,254,000 hundredweight produced a year earlier. Growers expect to harvest 38,000 acres this year, down 28,000 acres from 66,000 acres last year. Sugarbeet production is forecast at 832,000 tons, up 1 percent from 823,000 tons produced in 2010. Growers expect to harvest 28,700 acres this year compared with 27,900 a year ago. Yields are expected to average 29.0 tons per acre, down from a record high 29.5 tons per acres a year ago.
Colorado farmers and ranchers expect to harvest 820,000 acres of alfalfa hay this year, unchanged from 2010. They also expect to harvest 820,000 acres of other hay in 2011, up 40,000 acres from last year. Alfalfa production is forecast at 2.71 million tons compared with 2.87 million tons produced in 2010 and other hay is estimated at 1.15 million tons, down 2 percent from 1.17 million tons a year ago. Yields are expected to average 3.3 tons per acre for alfalfa and 1.4 tons per acre for other hay.
Colorado's apple production for this year is forecast at 11.0 million pounds, down from 14.0 million pounds produced last year. Late frosts and hail storms that occurred in the major growing areas reduced expected production.