By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Kentucky farmers saw record high average yields for corn and soybeans in 2020, according to numbers released Jan. 12 by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
The state also set a record high for corn production at 254 million bushels, which broke the record set last year, said David Knopf, director of the NASS Kentucky field office. The 2020 crop, up 4 percent from 2019, marked the first time production has exceeded 250 million bushels.
Average corn yield was 184 bushels per acre, up 15 bushels from 2019. Farmers harvested 1.4 million acres for grain, down 70,000 acres from 2019, Knopf said.
Kentucky’s 2020 soybean crop – 101 million bushels – was the state’s second largest on record. The amount was up 30 percent from 2019. Yield was 55 bushels, up 9 from 2019. Producers harvested 1.8 million acres, up 150,000 from 2019.
Dry weather in some areas of the state probably didn’t impact corn as much as it might have soybeans, Knopf said. “We did dry out in August and maybe a little earlier in parts of the state. We could have even had a higher yield of soybeans. But I don’t think anyone is complaining with what we had. Overall people are quite content with their grains.”
Other states in the region also had increases in production and yield in 2020.
Illinois farmers produced 2.13 billion bushels of corn, up 15 percent from 2019. Yield was 192 bushels, up 11. Farmers harvested 11.1 million acres, up 9 percent. The state’s soybean crop was 605 million bushels, up 14 percent. Yield was 59 bushels, up 5. Nearly 10.3 million acres were harvested, up 4 percent.
Indiana’s soybean yield, at 58 bushels, was up 7 from 2019. The yield was a record high, the NASS Indiana field office said. The crop was 329 million bushels, up 21 percent. Farmers harvested 5.7 million acres, up 320,000. Corn production rose 21 percent, to 982 million bushels. Harvested acreage was 5.3 million, up 9 percent. Average yield was 187 bushels, up 18 from 2019.
“Indiana farmers reported harvesting excellent crops in 2020,” the field office stated. “The 2020 crop was much improved over a water slogged, dismal 2019 crop.”
Michigan’s 2020 growing season was a great improvement over 2019, said Marlo Johnson, director of the NASS Great Lakes regional office.
The state’s corn crop was 306 million bushels, up from nearly 237 million last year. Yield was 154 bushels, up 7. Harvested acres were up 24 percent to nearly 2 million. Soybean production totaled 103 million bushels, up from 2019’s nearly 70 million. Average yield was 47 bushels, up 6.5. About 2.2 million acres were harvested, up from 1.7 million.
Ohio produced 564 million bushels of corn, up 34 percent, NASS said. Yield was 171 bushels, up 7. Harvested acreage was 3.3 million, up 28 percent. The soybean crop was 263 million bushels, up 26 percent. Average yield was 54 bushels, up 5. About 4.9 million acres were harvested, up 14 percent.
Kentucky’s corn stocks as of Dec. 1, 2020, were 175 million bushels, up from 168 million a year earlier. For confidentiality reasons, the state’s soybean and wheat stocks weren’t published.
Corn stocks in Illinois were 1.85 billion bushels, up 4 percent. Soybean stocks were down 9 percent to 536 million. All wheat stocks were 23.3 million, down from nearly 23.4 million.
Indiana corn stocks were 828 million bushels, up 11 percent. Soybeans totaled 248 million, down 3 percent. Wheat stocks were 17.2 million, down 13 percent.
Corn stocks in Michigan were 255 million bushels, up 30 percent. Soybean stocks were 73.2 million, up 7 percent. Wheat totaled 32.1 million bushels, down 22 percent.
In Ohio, corn stocks were 484 million bushels, up about 21 percent. Soybeans totaled 220 million, up 4 percent. Wheat stocks were 42.6 million, down 14 percent.