Editor’s Note: This is a preview of one of the seven states the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will visit on Aug. 18-21. See the complete State-by-State Preview of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour
Farmers like to say that no two years are alike. Although that tends to be true, at the statewide level, South Dakota is on pace for production numbers that are strikingly similar to last year. Acres are slightly down, while yields are slightly up – 139.0 bu./acre predicted by the USDA this year compared to 138.0 bu. per acre last year, in fact.
Added up, that would mean a slight yield reduction of less than 5% for "The Mount Rushmore State."
South Dakota farmers placed their bets a little more heavily on soybeans this year, with an estimated 330,000 extra acres in the ground, holding steady at a 40 bu./acre yield estimate – a mirror of last year. If those numbers play out, South Dakota will produce about 1.96 million bushels for 2014.
According to NOAA, climate conditions have been mostly favorable. The state has had a relatively cool 2014 (33rd coolest YTD on record) with average precipitation (0.3 inches below normal YTD).
Now, farmers look to the biggest weather wildcard currently on the table – a cooler-than-normal September and October, the epicenter of which lays squarely over Nebraska and South Dakota. Anecdotally, farmers have been encouraged by the year so far, with a few lingering worries of an early frost already starting to creep into the conversation.
"We really couldn't have asked for a better growing season this year with the exception of the mild temps for corn," a Hamlin County, S.D., farmer reported to AgWeb Crop Comments. "We've started getting low's in the 40s, and corn has a long way to go. Even the sweet corn was three to four weeks later this year. Has anyone thought of the possibility of an early frost? I would imagine that could have a market impact."
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