Yields are forecast to remain unchanged or increase from the August forecast across most states in the Great Plains, Corn Belt, Ohio Valley and Great Basin. Adequate rainfall during September resulted in improved yield expectations in those areas. The largest yield increase is forecast in South Dakota and Texas -- both up 0.6 ton from the previous forecast. Record yields are forecast in California, Nevada, South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas. The largest yield decrease is forecast in Kentucky, down 0.4 ton from the previous forecast as a result of continuous dry conditions statewide.
Production of other hay is forecast at 75.6 million tons, up slightly from the August forecast and up 8% from 2006 production. Based on Oct. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 1.87 tons/acre, up 0.09 ton from last year's figure. Harvested area, at 40.3 million acres, is up 2% from the 2006 number.
Compared with the previous forecast, growers in the southern and central Great Plains, Gulf Coast, Michigan and New York are expecting higher yields. Hayfields in Texas and Oklahoma benefited from abundant rainfall and producers are expecting record yields in those two states. Yields are forecast to remain unchanged from August in most of the Corn Belt but declined from the last forecast in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, middle Atlantic Coast, Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley. Pennsylvania showed the largest decrease in yield from the August forecast, going down 1.2 tons.