Arizona Farmers are Busy Planting

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

If you haven’t noticed, Arizona farmers are busy with planting. The weather is warming up just right especially for cotton. So, you’ll see plenty of activity out in the fields with planters.

Curious how many acres farmers are planting in cotton? Upland cotton acreage in Arizona is expected to total 225,000 acres, an increase of 30,000 acres from a year ago, according to a planting intentions survey conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Arizona Field Office.  Arizona’s American-Pima cotton producers intend to plant 9,000 acres, an increase of 6,500 acres.

Nationally, upland cotton acres are expected to total 12.3 million, up 14 percent from 2010 and American-Pima acreage is expected to increase 24 percent, to 252,500 acres. California producers expect to plant 225,000 acres, up 24 percent from last year.

We grow quite a bit of field corn (especially for cattle feed) in Arizona. Field corn acreage for all purposes is expected to total 45,000 acres in Arizona, the same as in 2010. For the United States, corn growers intend to plant 92.2 million acres, 5 percent more than the previous year.

Arizona sorghum growers are expected to plant 20,000 acres, 5,000 acres less than last year. Nationally, sorghum acreage is expected to increase 4 percent to 5.65 million acres.

Arizona hay growers are expected to harvest 270,000 acres, down 16 percent from 2010 and the fewest acres since 2001. This acreage includes both alfalfa and other types of hay. Total U.S. hay acreage intended to be harvested is estimated at 59.0 million acres, down 1 percent from a year ago.

Arizona’s durum wheat seedings are estimated at 70,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from 2010. For the United States, area seeded to durum wheat is expected to total 2.37 million acres, down 8 percent from a year ago. Arizona’s seedings of wheat other than durum are set at 6,000 acres, a 3,000 acre decrease from last year. Total U.S. winter wheat acreage is estimated at 41.2 million acres, 10 percent more than in 2010 and total spring wheat acreage is estimated at 14.4 million acres, up 5 percent from a year ago.

Arizona’s barley acreage is estimated at 55,000 acres, a 22 percent increase from 2010. Nationally, barley growers intend to plant 2.95 million acres for 2011, up 3 percent from last year.

So your Arizona farmers are busy. If they don’t get right back with you on their cell phones, at least you know where they’re at   out planting cotton and other crops while our weather warms up.

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