A report by the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicates that slightly over 41 percent of the oats planted in the state this year was harvested for grain.
According to that report, only 105,000 of the 255,000 planted acres were harvested for grain. That's a significant change from 2012, when 130,000 of the 220,000 planted acres were harvested for grain.
Only 540 of Fond du Lac County's 4,300 planted acres were harvested for grain (average yield of 74.6 bushels per acre). Growers in Taylor County harvested 580 of 3,800 planted acres for grain (average yield of 66.4 bushels). Similarly, in Calumet County, only 490 of the 3,100 planted acres were harvested for grain (average yield of 74.7 bushels).
This year's average yield on the oats harvested for grain was 65 bushels per acre, putting the state's total at 6.825 million bushels. The production in 2012, when the per acre average yield was 60 bushels, was 7.8 million bushels.
Today's oats crop in Wisconsin pales in contrast to what the numbers were six and seven decades ago. In 1945, for instance, the state's farmers grew a record 2.987 million acres of oats. In 1958, the state had a record oats yield of 156.221 million bushels.
Despite the major decline in numbers, Wisconsin continues to rank very high among the states in the harvest of oats for grain. In 2011, the state's crop of 7.13 million bushels was the highest for any state. For 2012, Wisconsin stood behind only Minnesota for its oats production.
For the 2013 crop, Langlade County posted one of the highest average yields ever for a county — 99.1 bushels from 5,550 harvested acres. This put its yield for the year at 550,000 bushels — good for second place among counties in the state.
With an average of 73.6 bushels from 7,950 harvested acres, Grant County topped the state's counties with a total crop of 585,000 bushels. In the published numbers, Dodge and Green counties stood in third place with grain harvests of 240,000 bushels each.
The county rankings were shuffled greatly from 2012, when Marathon County harvested 413,000 bushels and neighboring Clark County followed with 393,000 bushels. This year, Clark County's grain yield dropped to 154,000 as only 2,650 of the 8,200 planted acres were harvested for grain.
No specific numbers were reported for Marathon County in 2013 because the data provided "did not meet publication standards."
Other significant declines from 2012-13 were drops from 346,000 to 169,000 bushels in Kewaunee County, 274,000 to 121,000 bushels in Chippewa County, 174,000 to 65,300 bushels in Vernon County, 166,000 to 115,000 bushels in Door County, 60,200 to 23,000 bushels in Lincoln County, and 46,100 to 16,800 bushels in Pepin County, where the average yield per acre was the state's low of 41 bushels.
Green Lake and Marquette counties more than doubled their production from 2012 to 2013. Noticeable increases were also posted in Crawford and Sauk counties.
Among average per acre yields for counties, Walworth checked in with 79.2 bushels, followed by Outagamie at 77.7 bushels, Marquette at 75.4 bushels, and Iowa at 75 bushels. With 46.4 bushels per acre, Richland County was the only county other than Pepin with an average yield below 50 bushels for 2013.
From 2012-13, Marquette County's average yield jumped from 40.3 to the 75.4 bushels while Portage County increased from 39.3 to 69.9 bushels.