It’s official: 2017 corn yield set record

But winter wheat acreage, at 32.6 million acres, is second lowest on record

Deere combine corn
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — Across the Midwest, a lack of extreme heat helped boost the nation’s 2017 corn yield to its highest level on record — slightly above 2016.

The nation’s soybean yield was down 6 percent from 2016, but production reached a record level due to record high acreage, according to the Crop Production 2017 Summary released Jan. 12 by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

U.S. corn growers produced 14.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2016. Corn yield in the U.S. is estimated at a record high 176.6 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels above last year’s average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre.

Area harvested, at 82.7 million acres, is down 5 percent from 2016.

Read our crop year recap: Wet spring set stage for delayed crop year

The 2017 corn objective yield data indicate the third highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined objective yield states with record high ear counts in South Dakota.

Record bean acres

Soybean production for 2017 totaled a record 4.39 billion bushels, up 2 percent from 2016.

With record high levels across much of the southern United States, from the Delta to the Appalachian Mountains, the average soybean yield is estimated at 49.1 bushels per acre, 2.9 bushels below last year’s record yield. Harvested area in 2017, at a record 89.5 million acres, is up 8 percent from 2016.


For 2017, all cotton production is up 24 percent from 2016, at 21.3 million 480-pound bales. The U.S. yield is estimated at 899 pounds per acre, up 32 pounds from last year’s yield.

Harvested area, at 11.3 million acres, is up 19 percent from last year.

Wheat outlook

Also released today were the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings and Grain Stocks reports.

The Winter Wheat Seedings report is the first indicator of this year’s winter wheat acreage. Planted area for harvest in 2018 is estimated at 32.6 million acres, down less than 1 percent from 2017 and down 10 percent from 2016.

This represents the second lowest U.S. acreage on record.

Grain stocks

In the Grain Stocks report, corn and soybean stocks were estimated to be up 1 and 9 percent from 2016, respectively. Corn stored in all positions totaled 12.5 billion bushels, while soybeans totaled 3.16 billion bushels.

All wheat stocks were down 10 percent from last year. All wheat stored in all positions totaled 1.87 billion bushels.

wheat harvest
(Farm and Dairy photo)


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