USDA released its latest Crop Production report, Aug. 12, anticipating record-high corn and soybean production. And, while corn and soybeans will get most of the attention, dry alfalfa hay production is also projected higher.
Corn production is forecast at 14.0 billion bushels, up 1% from 2013. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 bushels from 2013. If realized, this will be the highest U.S. yield and production on record.
Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast, but down 4% from 2013. The 2014 corn planted area for all purposes is estimated at 91.6 million acres, unchanged from the June estimate, but also down 4% from 2013
The Aug. 1 corn objective yield data indicate the highest number of ears on record for the combined 10 objective yield states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin). In total, 11 states expect a record high corn yield for 2014.
Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.82 billion bushels, up 16% from last year. Area for harvest is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres, unchanged from June, but up 11% from last year.
Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 45.4 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels from last year. If realized, the forecasted yield will be a record high in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Alfalfa and other hay
Production of alfalfa and alfalfa mixture dry hay for 2014 is forecast at 63.6 million tons, up 11% from 2013. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yield is expected to average 3.50 tons per acre, up 0.26 ton from last year. If realized, yield would be the second highest on record – behind only the 1999 average yield of 3.51 tons per acre. Harvested area is forecast at 18.2 million acres, unchanged from June, but up 2% from 2013. New Mexico and Pennsylvania are expecting record high yields in 2014.
With the exception of the continuing drought in the far western United States, much of the growing season has been characterized by good moisture and cooler than average temperatures. This resulted in favorable conditions for most of the nation’s alfalfa hay crop.
Production of other hay is forecast at 77.2 million tons, down 1% from 2013. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 1.96 tons per acre, up 0.02 ton from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 39.5 million acres, unchanged from June, but down 3% from 2013.
Producers in Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska and Wyoming are expecting record high yields in 2014. Adequate moisture, excluding the far western states, has producers expecting similar yield and production as last year.