After months of concern over late plantings, a cool growing season and delayed harvest, the U.S. 2009 corn crop has set records for average yield and total production. The USDA’s latest Crop Production report, released Jan. 12, estimates the corn harvest at 13.2 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the Nov. 1 forecast, and 1 percent above the previous record of 13.0 billion bushels set in 2007. U.S. grain yield also sets a record, with farmers averaging 165.2 bushels per acre, up 2.3 bushels from the November forecast and 4.9 bushels above the previous record of 160.3 bushels per acre set in 2004.

Of the major Corn Belt states, Iowa posted the highest average yield of 182 bushels per acre. Washington and Oregon posted astounding yields averaging 215 bushels per acre.

In other positive news for cattle producers, the report shows Dec. 1 on-farm hay stocks at 107.2 million tons, compared with 103.7 million one year ago and 104.1 for the same date in 2007.

An annual crop summary is available online, as is the Crop Production report.

Source: Drovers (Sister publication to Dairy Herd Management)