Alabama Farm Crops

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Alabama's corn, peanut and cotton crops are expected to yield a good harvest in the fall. But the forecast for peach farmers isn't so upbeat.

Tim Placke, a statistician with the Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service, predicts peach production could decline by as much as 50 percent or lower from the 2002 harvest.

Chilton County extension agent Gary Gray said peach farmers lost 80-percent of their crop because of a freeze the night of March 31. Most of the state's peaches are grown in the county.

Placke said cotton production could surpass last year's totals, about 170,000 more bales could be produced in 2003.

The corn harvest could bring in about six million more bushels than last year.

Peanut farmers also could have a good year with near record per-acre yields at 2900 pounds an acre. The previous record was set in 1985 with 2950 pounds.

Placke cautions the forecast could change if weather conditions aren't favorable. Rain is needed to keep crops in good shape and fields must be dry to allow harvesting.