Drought weakens yield prospects in many states, but some areas may pull through
With most of the country suffering through a historic drought, corn and soybean crop conditions have been steadily declining for weeks. Therefore, it likely came as little surprise to many producers when USDA lowered its national corn yield estimate to 123.4 bu. per acre today in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates—the lowest corn yield projection made by the department in 17 years.
But which states have been hit the hardest? According to USDA’s estimates, 10 states can expect yields of 100 bu./acre or less. With the exception of Virginia, portions of all of these states are experiencing severe drought conditions or worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
- Kentucky - 65.0
- Missouri - 75.0
- Tennessee - 82.0
- Alabama - 85.0
- Virginia - 91.0
- Kansas - 93.0
- South Dakota - 98.0
- Oklahoma, North Dakota and Indiana - 100.0
Farmer reports to AgWeb's Crop Comments from these states are bleak.
"No corn yield to report. A lot is already silaged or round-baled," says a Montgomery County, Mo., producer. "Beans are dying to dead, and will not make anything even if it were to rain 3". Kind of glad it's over now. Getting hopes up then getting disappointed makes it hard on the family. Free rain gauge to give away, never used, slightly dry rotted. Am looking for cactus seed."
"Our corn is from poor too bad," says a Barren County, Ky., grower. "Better luck next year."
Some states, however, may pull through the harvest season with acceptable yields. USDA projects that seven states will have yields of 150 bu./acre or higher:
- Washington - 225.0
- California - 190.0
- Georgia - 175.0
- Louisiana - 165.0
- Arkansas - 160.0
- Minnesota - 155.0
- Texas - 150.0
A Georgia farmer reported to AgWeb's Crop Comments: "I'm hearing of yields from 250 and even exceeding 300 bushels to the acre. The corn crop here looks to be the best ever."
Likewise, a Stearns County, Minn., producer is predicting a strong harvest: "Just did a yield check—244 bushels per acre. Corn is just starting to dent."
Meanwhile, USDA lowered its soybean yield projections to 36.1 bu. per acre, down 4.4 bu. from last month and 5.4 bu. from last year’s yield.
State by state, yield variances weren’t as drastic as with corn, but with drought conditions persisting across much of the nation, some producers may be left with little hope for a soybean crop. According to USDA, seven states can expect yields of less than 30 bu. per acre. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows all of these states are under some form of severe drought.
- Oklahoma - 20.0
- Kansas - 22.0
- South Carolina - 26.0
- Tennessee - 26.0
- North Dakota - 28.0
- Georgia - 28.0
- Kentucky - 29.0
"Only nine inches of rain this year," a Reno County, Kan., farmer told AgWeb's Crop Comments. "There will be no soybean harvest here."
Conversely, six states can expect soybean yields above 40 bu. per acre, particularly those in the mid-Atlantic region, where beneficial rain has fallen recently.
- Nebraska - 43.0
- Iowa - 43.0
- Louisiana - 42.0
- New York - 42.0
- Ohio - 42.0
- Pennsylvania - 42.0
Two Pennsylvania growers at Farm Journal Corn College said they both expect a 45 bu. average soybean yield this year. And despite having a terrible year for corn, a Putnam County, Ohio, farmer tells Crop Comments he is still hopeful on soybeans: "Beans look decent but need rain like everything else."
Coverage, Analysis of the Aug. 10 Reports
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