“Skyrocketing fertilizer and fuel costs have made good yields even more important to farmers’ bottom line, and unfortunately for corn growers, the yields aren’t where they need to be,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “North Carolinians see the rain we’ve had this summer and think the drought is over, but that isn’t the case. We still have drought conditions in some areas, while others have had too much rain for crops. Too much rain in some areas has adversely affected the state’s tobacco crop.” The yield for flue-cured tobacco is forecast at 2,250 pounds per acre, 20 pounds less than 2007. Production is forecast to be 387 million pounds, 3 percent more than last year.
Statewide, other crops are faring better than a year ago. Soybean yield is forecast to be 32 bushels per acre, up 45 percent from 2007. Production is forecast to total 53.1 million bushels, 75 percent more than last year. Peanut yield is forecast to be 3,200 pounds per acre, up 300 pounds from last year. Production is forecast at 313.6 million pounds, a 20 percent increase over last year. Hay production also is up this year. Yield is forecast at 2.3 tons per acre, almost 1 ton above last year’s yield. Production is forecast at 1.82 million tons, up 76 percent over 2007.
A suspected car thief who took off when a Wilkesboro police officer tried to stop him yesterday ended up crashing. Police and the highway patrol report Catawba county resident Shawn Lavern Jeffries was injured in the crash of the stolen 2000 Nissan pickup on Windy gap Road a bit over 7 miles out of Wilkesboro. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The chase started shortly after 3 yesterday afternoon when a Wilkesboro officer tried to stop Jeffries on US 421, but when the officer turned on his emergency lights the pickup sped off. Troopers identified it as having been stolen from Hickory resident. Christopher Ray Roten. The damage to the pickup is estimated at 8-thousand dollars. Jeffries was cited for larceny of motor vehicle, reckless driving to endanger, failure to heed light or siren, license not in possession and failure to maintain lane control.