Farmers surprised by monthly crop report

Crops specialist believes farmers may see a wide variety of yield projection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its monthly crop production report  on Tuesday and the results have many people scratching their heads, wondering about the 'yield projection estimates.'
 
Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that have flooded many of the southern states, and a prolonged dry spell in the upper Midwest, the USDA is believing farmers will produce a record soybean crop of 4.43 billion bushels.
 
That figure represents a three percent increase from 2016 production.  
 
Corn production is estimated to drop six percent from 2016 production levels.  
 
The US Department of Agriculture is saying corn farmers will produce a yield of 14.2 billion bushels.  
 
In Iowa, corn production is thought to drop from last year's average of 203 bushels per acre to this year at 187 bushels per acre with a total production of 2.449 billion bushels of corn.  
 
Iowa's soybean production is estimated at 57 bushels per acre at 567 million bushels.  
 
That compares to last year's production of 60.5 bushels per acre with a total production of 571 million bushels.
 
Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach crops specialist for northwest Iowa believes farmers may see a wide variety of yields.  
 
He says prior to harvest, the corn conditions are mixed.
 
"We have some neighborhoods with that rainfall really took a toll, and others that got some scattered rainfalls, and it did pretty well. We got other neighborhoods where there's a lot more corn on corn, and those corn acres had more of a tendency to have a lot more problems getting their roots established. Probably struggled a little more during that dry time period. But I think in general, as most people get into the fields, as tough as it 
was looking about that third week of July, they're kind of pleased that it looks as good as it does right now. You know we have some pretty good corn fields out there. We have a lot that are O.K. corn fields, and we have some bad ones, but its a lot fewer than we thought we would have during that third week of July when it was really hot, and we hadn't had rain for a long time period," said DeJong.
 
DeJong says the rains and cooler temperatures of August helped reduce the stress level on the corn crop, giving it an opportunity to recover from the dry spell.
 
"I think our Christmas present this year actually was the fact that it cooled down below average temperature in the late part of July through much of the month of August, which reduced the average moisture need by about half. And because of that, I think that gave us a chance for these crops to not experience nearly as much stress, and actually with the rain during August, performed much better than we thought for the end of July. We're really grateful for the good soil types we have around here that allowed us to tolerate those dry periods as long as they did," said DeJong.
 
DeJong says the corn crop is still about 30 days away from full maturity. He says he is hoping for a warm and dry October, so the corn will dry down naturally, and not having to use artifical means to dry the corn. As for 
soybeans, DeJong believes farmers will have a reduction in yield compared to last year's crop. He says it may still be a good harvest, but not a record yield.
 
The USDA is predicting the Nebraska corn production to actually increase from last year, going from an average yield of 178 bushels an acre in 2016 to now at 181 bushels per acre for 2017. As for South Dakota, the drought has hurt their projected corn yield from last year's 161 bushels per acre to this year's estimate of 145 bushels per acre.
 
 
 
 

 


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