Corn Yield and Soybean Production Up in 2017, USDA Reports

Across the Midwest, a lack of extreme heat helped boost the nation’s corn yield to its highest level on record – slightly above 2016. The nation’s soybean yield was down 6 percent from 2016, but production reached a record level due to record high acreage, according to the Crop Production 2017 Summary released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

U.S. corn growers produced 14.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2016. Corn yield in the U.S. is estimated at a record high 176.6 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels above last year’s average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre. Area harvested, at 82.7 million acres, is down 5 percent from 2016. The 2017 corn objective yield data indicate the third highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined objective yield states with record high ear counts in South Dakota.

Soybean production for 2017 totaled a record 4.39 billion bushels, up 2 percent from 2016. With record high levels across much of the southern United States, from the Delta to the Appalachian Mountains, the average soybean yield is estimated at 49.1 bushels per acre, 2.9 bushels below last year’s record yield. Harvested area in 2017, at a record 89.5 million acres, is up 8 percent from 2016.

For 2017, all cotton production is up 24 percent from 2016, at 21.3 million 480-pound bales. The U.S. yield is estimated at 899 pounds per acre, up 32 pounds from last year’s yield. Harvested area, at 11.3 million acres, is up 19 percent from last year.

Sorghum grain production in 2017 is estimated at 364 million bushels, down 24 percent from 2016. Area planted for sorghum, at 5.63 million acres, is down 16 percent from last year. Harvested area, at 5.05 million acres, is down 18 percent from 2016. Grain yield is estimated at 72.1 bushels per acre, down 5.8 bushels from last year. Record high yields are estimated in Colorado, Georgia, and Missouri.

Also released today were the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings and Grain Stocks reports. The Winter Wheat Seedings report is the first indicator of this year’s winter wheat acreage. Planted area for harvest in 2018 is estimated at 32.6 million acres, down less than 1 percent from 2017 and down 10 percent from 2016. This represents the second lowest U.S. acreage on record.

In the Grain Stocks report, corn and soybean stocks were estimated to be up 1 and 9 percent from 2016, respectively. Corn stored in all positions totaled 12.5 billion bushels, while soybeans totaled 3.16 billion bushels. All wheat stocks were down 10 percent from last year. All wheat stored in all positions totaled 1.87 billion bushels.

The full Crop Production 2017 Summary is available online at The report contains year-end acreage, yield and production estimates for grains and hay; oilseeds; cotton, tobacco and sugar; dry beans, peas and lentils; and potatoes and miscellaneous crops.

Source: USDA

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