September 11, 2009

Nebraska farmers looking at record production, yields

As farmers are gearing up for harvest, a record crop is waiting for them in corn fields across Nebraska.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated today that Nebraska corn farmers will bring in 1.55 billion bushels of corn this year and average 169.0 bushels per acre. Both numbers would be records – with production surpassing the 1.47 billion produced in 2007 and yields surpassing a record of 166 set in 2004.

“There should be no question that farmers are not only good at what they do, but that they are doing it better each and every year,” Don Hutchens, executive director the Nebraska Corn Board, said in a news release. “Farmers in Nebraska and across the country are producing more bushels from the same acre of land than ever before, and in the process they are using fewer resources and doing it in an environmentally responsible way.”

(Some audio cuts of Hutchens are available by following the link above.)

The Corn Board noted that:
  • In four out of the last six years, Nebraska farmers have produced 160 bushels per acre or more. Prior to that, yields had never reached 160 bushels.
  • In five out of the last six years, Nebraska farmers have produced more than 1.2 billion bushels of corn. Prior to that, farmers only reached that level once.
Hutchens pointed out that at 13 billion bushels of production on a national level, corn production this year will nearly equal record production set in 2007 -- but do so on 6 million fewer acres. (More evidence of farmers doing more with less.)

USDA also estimated record national yields of 161.9 bushels per acre.

On the supply/demand side, USDA increased estimated use of feed by 50 million bushels, and exports by 100 million bushels. Ethanol use was left unchanged, resulting in an ending stocks figure of 1.64 billion bushels.

Average anticipated prices for 2009-10 were also lowered to $3.05-3.65. Compare that to $4.20 for 2007-08 and $4.08 for 2008-09.

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