USDA report sees both increases, declines in crop production
FARGO -- Production of some of the Upper Midwest's most important, albeit lesser-known, crops will rise this year, the federal government predicts. Farmers will raise more spring wheat, barley, durum and dry edible beans in 2015 than a year ago, ...
FARGO -- Production of some of the Upper Midwest's most important, albeit lesser-known, crops will rise this year, the federal government predicts.
Farmers will raise more spring wheat, barley, durum and dry edible beans in 2015 than a year ago, according to the Crop Production report released at noon Sept. 11 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The report -- which provides an early, preliminary look at yields, harvested acres and production -- generates the most attention nationally for its estimates of corn, cotton and soybean production. But its predictions for production of other crops grown in the Upper Midwest are noteworthy, too.
Nationwide, corn production is forecast at 13.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from a year ago, reflecting what NASS thinks will be fewer harvested acres and lower yields.
Minnesota and North Dakota farmers will raise more corn this year. South Dakota producers will raise less, a drop in harvested acres more than offsetting higher yields.
U.S. soybean production is pegged at 3.94 billion bushels, down slightly from 3.96 billion bushels a year ago. That reflects a decline in yields that more than offsets an increase in harvested acres.
Minnesota and South Dakota farmers will raise more soybeans this year, North Dakota producers less. The North Dakota decline is the result of both lower yields and fewer harvested acres.
Predictions aren't available yet for many of the crops grown in the Upper Midwest. The list includes, lentils, canola, flax and sunflowers.
But the new report projects increases for some regionally prominent crops, with the estimates based on higher yields, more harvested acres or both:
- Spring wheat -- 621 million bushels, up from 595 million bushels in 2014.
- Barley -- 209 million bushels, up from 176 million a year earlier.
- Durum, -- 76 million bushels, up from 53 million a year earlier.
- Dry edible beans -- 29.3 million hundredweight, up from 29.2 million hundredweight a year ago.
The estimates, which NASS emphasizes are preliminary, reflect conditions on Sept. 1 and are based on interviews with 11,000 farm operators nationwide.