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Crop production report hits many lows

Jan. 16, 2014 | 0 comments


It was one of those years. Last year’s crop production figures are out and, not surprisingly, down from the previous year.

According to the “Wisconsin Crop Production Report” released Jan. 10, state farmers planted less corn last year, put in fewer acres of soybeans that yielded less, and took a hit on winter wheat yields. Oats broke the record for lowest annual production and the state’s production of alfalfa haylage and greenchop sank.

Barley yields and production did go up, although the state grew less potatoes, spearmint and peppermint.


The report said the 4.1 million acres were planted to corn in Wisconsin was a decrease of 250,000 acres from the previous year. Of those acres, 3.05 million acres were harvest for grain with a yield of 146 bushels per acre.

The 2013 corn crop measured 445 million bushels. Silage was harvested off 980,000 acres, the same as 2012.  Yields were marked at 16.5 tons per acre. Silage production was 16.2 million tons, up two million tons from 2012.


There were 1.58 million acres planted to soybeans in Wisconsin last year, down from the 1.71 million acres planted the previous year. Off that, 1.55 million acres were harvested. The statewide yield mark was 38 bushels per acre, a decrease of 3.5 bushels from 2012. All told, the 2013 crop produced 58.9 million bushels, down 17 percent from 2012.

Small Grains

Winter wheat production last year totaled 15.4 million bushels, down 16 percent from 2012. Yields were marked at 58 bushels per acre, down 17 bushels from 2012 and the lowest since 2005.

However, farmers planted and harvested more acres of winter wheat in 2013. They planted 315,000 acres, which was 50,000 acres above 2012’s level, and harvested 265,000 acres, which was 20,000 acres higher than 2012.

Oat production was also down in 2013. It was marked at 6.83 million bushels, 13 percent below 2012’s level. “This was the lowest production since record keeping began in 1866”, the report said.

However, the 2013 oat yield was up five bushels from the previous year to 65 bushels per acre. Planted acres were up 16 percent over 2012 to 255,000 acres, but only 105,000 acres were harvested, a decrease of 25,000 acres from the previous year.

Barley production jumped 19 percent from 2012, hitting 784,000 bushels in 2013. Yields were up five bushels to 49 bushels per acre. The amount of land put to barley stayed the same as 2012, although 1,000 more acres were harvested for a grand total of 16,000 acres.


Acreage and yields of alfalfa and alfalfa mix dry hay went up in 2013. There were 1.1 million acres harvested in 2013, up from 1.05 million acres the previous year, while yields increased from 2.3 tons per acre in 2012 to 2.6 tons per acre in 2013. Overall, production was marked at 2.86 million tons, up from 2.42 million tons the previous year.

The amount of acreage harvested as alfalfa haylage and greenchop dropped from 1.1 million acres in 2012 to 1.05 million acres in 2013. Green weight yields were also down from 6.2 tons per acre in 2012 to 5.6 tons per acre in 2013.

Statewide, the report said, alfalfa haylage and greenchop production was 5.88 million tons, down 14 percent from 6.82 million tons in 2012.

All other hay harvested as dry hay took up 500,000 acres in 2013, an increase of 100,000 acres from 2012. Yields were marked at 1.8 tons per acre, up 1.5 tons per acre from 2012. The total production for all other hay harvested as dry hay was 900,000 tons last year.


There were 62,500 acres of fall potatoes planted in Wisconsin last year and 62,000 acres harvested, down from 64,000 acres harvested in 2012. Yields were also down, dropping from 460 hundredweight (cwt) per acre to 440 cwt.

The state produced 27.3 million cwt., enough to earn third place in fall potato production behind Idaho and Washington.

Dry Edible Beans

Wisconsin, which produces mostly dark red kidney beans, planted an increase of 200 acres of dry beans last year for totals of 5,400 acres planted and 5,400 acres harvested. Yields of 1,810 pounds per acre pushed the state’s 2013 dry bean production total to 97,740 cwt.


The state harvested 3,300 acres of peppermint and 400 acres of spearmint last year. The peppermint yielded 57 pounds per acre and spearmint yielded 53 pounds per acre, down from 66 pounds of peppermint per acre and 68 pounds of spearmint per acre in 2012.

Peppermint production was tallied at 188,100 pounds, down 29 percent from 2012, while spearmint production was down 22 percent to 21,200 pounds.

The year-end report was produced by Wisconsin field office of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Ag Statistics Service, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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