Iowa has kept its title as the nation's leading corn and soybean producer. The state's farmers produced 2.37 billion bushels of corn and 439 million bushels of soybeans in 2007. That compares with Illinois which produced the second largest crop at 2.28 billion bushels of corn and 350 million bushels of soybeans, according to USDA's annual crop production "final estimates" released in January.
Nationally, USDA says farmers produced 13.07 billion bushels of corn and 2.59 billion bushels of soybeans in 2007. In 2006, U.S. farmers produced 10.54 billion bushels of corn and 3.19 billion bushels of soybeans.
Iowa still leads in corn and beans
Increased acres and yield led to the increased corn production this past year. Farmers in the U.S. harvested 86.54 million of the 93.60 million corn acres planted for grain in 2007. In Iowa, farmers harvested 13.85 million corn acres for grain after planting 14.2 million acres. In 2006, Iowa harvested 12.35 million acres of 12.6 million acres planted.
Corn yields increased in Iowa and the U.S. in 2007, says Brad Parks, statistician with Iowa Agricultural Statistics, the government agency that is the Iowa branch of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. Iowa ended up with a corn yield average of 171 bushels per acre compared to 166 bushels in 2006 and 173 bushels in 2005.
The national corn yield average rose from 149.1 bushels per acre in 2006 to 151.1 bushels in 2007. Along with Iowa, Illinois played a role in boosting the national average as Illinois' yield average jumped from 163 bushels per acre in 2006 to 175 bushels last year.
Soybean production declines
Decreased soybean acres and yield resulted in less soybean production in both the U.S. and Iowa in 2007. Nationally, farmers harvested 62.82 million acres compared with 74.6 million acres in 2006. In Iowa, farmers harvested 8.52 million acres compared with 10.1 million acres in 2006. Iowa still leads in soybeans. Illinois was second with 8.15 million bean acres in 2007.
Bean yields in the U.S. were down from 42.7 bushels per acre in 2006 to 41.2 bushels in 2007. In Iowa, however, soybean yields increased from 50.5 bushels per acre in 2006 to 51.5 bushels in 2007. In 2005, Iowa had an average yield of 52.5 bushels per acre. Illinois soybean yields decrease from 48 bushels per acre in 2006 to 43 bushels in 2007.
"The estimated 2007 U.S. corn yield is the second highest on record behind 2004," says Parks. "Corn production in the U.S. for 2007, however, is still the largest on record because farmers harvested the most corn acres since 1933."
Iowa corn yield is 171 bushels per acre
Iowa's average corn yield of 171 bushels per acre for 2007 is third best, behind 2004's yield of 181 and the 2005 yield of 173 bushels per acre.
U.S. soybean production at 2.59 billion bushels in 2007 is down 19% from the record large crop of 2006. "We had a huge U.S. soybean crop in 2006," he explains. "But in 2007 the U.S. average bean yield was 1.5 bushels per acre below the 2006 yield, and harvested acres across the U.S. were down 16% from 2006, to 62.8 million acres."
Iowa's 2007 bean yield at 51.5 is still the second best yield ever for the state, behind 2005's 52.5 bushels per acre.
Hay production up in 2007, oats decline
Hay production rose in 2007 in Iowa and nationally. In 2007, Iowa harvested 1.48 million acres of hay with a yield of 3.76 tons per acre. Iowa produced 5.57 million tons of hay in 2007 and 5.3 million tons in 2006.
Nationally, farmers grew 150 million tons of hay in 2007 and 142 million tons in 2006. They harvested 61.2 million acres of hay with a yield of 2.44 tons per acre in 2007. They grew 2.34 tons per acre on 60.9 million acres in 2006.
Iowa farmers harvested 28,000 wheat acres with an average yield of 50 bushels per acre in 2007, for a crop of 1.4 million bushels. In 2006, Iowa harvested 18,000 acres with an average yield of 66 bushels for a 1.18 million bushels total production.
Oat production continued to decline in 2007 due to fewer acres. Farmers in the U.S. harvested 1.5 million acres with an average yield of 60.6 bushels per acre for a 91.5 million bushels crop. Iowa farmers nearly cut their oat production in half last year compared to 2006. Iowa produced 4.75 million bushels of oats on 67,000 acres with an average yield of 71 bushels per acre. In 2006, Iowa produced 8.3 million bushels of oats on 110,000 acres with an average yield of 76 bushels per acre.