According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), most District farm areas received moderate rains in August that improved soil moisture conditions and crop development. However, excessive rains in Florida and Georgia produced standing water in fields, which caused some disease problems. Crop conditions for cotton, soybeans, and peanuts were good in most areas of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Weak domestic demand and uncertain global market conditions curbed the supply of poultry products through July. A September report on USDA estimates placed 2009 poultry production and stocks at 3.5 and 7.0 percent below 2008 levels, respectively. Broiler exports are also expected to be down 5.0 percent, mainly because of lower shipments to Russia, the United States' top export market. Exports from the United States to China, Mexico, and the Middle East have partly offset weak sales to Russia.
The September USDA report points to favorable crop development across the region and stable market conditions for cotton. Acreage numbers for most District cotton producing states were a bit higher than previously estimated, with some states even reporting improving yields. World production and use are unchanged from early estimates, and weak demand from major global textile producers is still limiting cotton exports and stalling higher prices.
By mid-September, citrus trees had benefited from recent rains, with most areas reporting favorable fruit growth. This year's citrus production is about 1.6 percent larger than last year's, but controlling diseases is a challenge for the industry. Also, many discouraged growers are leaving citrus farming.