Looking back at Iowa's record crops

Looking back at Iowa's record crops

Final USDA estimates for 2015 harvest are in; Iowa leads nation in both corn and soybeans.

Final harvest estimates for 2015 were released by USDA on January 12, 2016 and they show that, yes indeed, last year was a record year for Iowa crop production. USDA’s final estimates show Iowa farmers harvested 2.5 billion bushels of corn, 4% higher than the 2009 record. Iowa has led the nation in corn production for 22 consecutive years.

Iowa’s 2015 soybean crop was also a record. At 554 million bushels, the 2015 Iowa soybean harvest exceeded the state’s 2005 record by 5%. For soybeans this past fall, Iowa beat out Illinois for the first time since 2012 as the leading soybean producing state.

SUPER YIELD YEAR: Final harvest report for 2015 released Jan. 12 by USDA shows Iowa farmers harvested 2.5 billion bushels of corn. Average yield of 192 bushels per acre is also a new record. Iowa harvested a record soybean crop of 554 million bushels with a 56.5 bushel per acre record yield.

Final USDA estimates for 2015 crop production
Following is the listing of production for the major farm crops grown in Iowa in 2015, as estimated by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS). The agency on January 12 released its “Crop Production 2015 Summary Report”.

Corn for grain production in Iowa during 2015 is estimated at 2.51 billion bushels. This record-high production is 4% above the previous record of 2.41 billion bushels set in 2009. Iowa has led the nation in corn production for 22 consecutive years and 37 of the last 38 years. Iowa's corn for grain yield is estimated at 192 bushels per acre, 6% higher than the previous record yield of 181 bushels per acre established in 2004 and tied in 2009. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 13.1 million acres, down 150,000 acres from the November 1 forecast and 250,000 acres below 2014. Corn planted for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 13.5 million acres, down 100,000 acres from the November 1 estimate and the fewest planted acres since 2010.

Corn for silage production is estimated at 8.16 million tons, up 32% from 2014. The silage yield estimate of 24.0 tons per acre is a record high, 2.0 tons per acre higher than the previous record set in 2009.  Producers harvested 340,000 acres of corn for silage, up 30,000 acres from 2014. 

Soybean production is estimated at 554 million bushels in 2015. This is a record high production, topping the previous record of 525 million bushels set in 2005 by 5%. The Iowa soybean crop yielded 56.5 bushels per acre in 2015. This yield is also a new record high, 8% above the previous record of 52.5 bushels per acre set in 2005. The harvested acreage of 9.80 million is down 20,000 acres from the November 1 estimate, but 30,000 acres above 2014. Soybean planted acreage, at 9.85 million, is down 50,000 acres from November 1, but is unchanged from 2014.

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All hay production for the state is estimated at 3.94 million tons, up 7% from the 3.68 million tons produced in 2014 and the highest production since 2009. Producers averaged 3.4 tons per acre, up from 3.2 tons in 2014. All hay harvested acres is estimated at 1.16 million, up 5,000 acres from 2014.

Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures production is estimated at 3.0 million tons, up 3% from 2014. Producers averaged 3.9 tons per acre, up 0.3 ton from 2014. Harvested acres are down 40,000 from last year, to 770,000. Iowa producers seeded 90,000 acres of alfalfa in 2015, down 20,000 acres from 2014 and the lowest seeding since 2011.

Other hay production is estimated at 936,000 tons, up 23% from 2014. Producers averaged 2.4 tons per acre, 0.2 ton per acre above the 2014 yield. Harvested acres of other hay, at 390,000, is 13% above 2014.

U.S. corn and soybean production in 2015
Here are the final USDA estimates for corn and soybean harvest for the nation in 2015.

Corn for grain production nationally is estimated at 13.6 billion bushels, down slightly from the November forecast and down 4% from the 2014 estimate. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 168.4 bushels per acre. This is down 0.9 bushel from the November forecast and 2.6 bushels below the 2014 average yield of 171.0 bushels per acre. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 80.7 million acres, up slightly from the November forecast but down 3% from the 2014 acreage.

Soybean production in 2015 for the U.S. totaled a record 3.93 billion bushels, down 1% from the November forecast but up slightly from 2014. The average yield per acre is estimated at a record high 48.0 bushels, 0.3 bushel below the November forecast but 0.5 bushel above the 2014 yield. Harvested area is down less than 1% from last year's record acreage to 81.8 million acres.

The complete report can be found under Publications on USDA NASS website nass.usda.gov.

TAGS: USDA
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