Although it's been a late growing season, the already realized or anticipated yields for the major field crops in Wisconsin are up across the board compared to 2013, according to the most recent report by the state's field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Due to an increase in either average yields per acre or harvested acres, Wisconsin's farmers are expecting increased production of corn, grain, alfalfa hay, soybeans, winter wheat, oats, and dry edible beans compared to 2013, the report indicated. The same trend is in place across the United States.
Based on an anticipated 10-bushel per acre average increase to 156 bushels and a 100,000 increase in harvested acres to 3.15 million, Wisconsin is in line for a corn grain harvest of 491.4 million bushels compared to 445.3 million bushels in 2013, according to the report.
Wisconsin's farmers planted an estimated total of 4.2 million acres of corn this year. This suggests the possibility of the harvest of about 1 million acres of corn for silage.
The state's soybean crop is projected for an average yield of 43 bushels per acre from a potential 1.78 million harvested acres for a total production of 76.54 million bushels. Those numbers are up from 38 bushels per acre, 1.55 million acres and 58.9 million bushels in 2013.
Near the end of winter wheat harvest, the state's projected average yield is 66 bushels per acre compared to 58 bushels in 2013. Despite the 5,000 drop in harvested acres to 260,000, a total production of 17.16 million bushels is forecast compared to 15.37 million bushels a year ago.
The yields of alfalfa hay are another highlight for the state's crops this year. The latest report indicates an average yield of 3.6 dry matter tons per acre compared to 2.6 tons in 2013. Combined with a modest increase of 50,000 harvested acres to 1.15 million, the state's production is forecast to be 4.14 million tons — nearly a 45-percent jump from 2013.
For other species of dry hay, however, the report shows an average per acre yield of 1.7 dry matter tons and a total yield of 765,000 tons from 450,000 thousand acres. Those are down from 1.6 tons, 900,000 tons and 500,000 acres respectively in 2013.
Thanks to a 35,000-acre increase to 140,000 harvested acres, Wisconsin's 2014 oat production is forecast at 8.82 million bushels compared to 6.825 million bushels in 2013. This year's average yield per acre is down by two bushels to 63.
The crop report also tracks Wisconsin's production of edible beans, which is centered in a few counties in the northwestern part of the state. This year's crop is expected to yield 154,000 hundredweight (cwt) compared to 98,000 cwt in 2013. That's due to a combination of increases in acres from 5,400 to 7,600 and a per-acre yield average of 2,020 pounds compared to 1,810 pounds in 2013.
If the predicted record high average yield of 167.4 bushels per acre holds, the United States will set a corn grain record crop of more than 14.03 billion bushels this year. The production would be even higher except that the expected harvest acres is down by 3.82 million from 2013.
The national soybean production, based on Aug. 1 crop conditions, is poised to jump by 16 percent compared to 2013. The predicted numbers for this year's crop are an average yield of 45.4 bushels per acre from a record high of more than 84 million harvested acres (about 200,000 more acres than those to be harvested for grain corn) for a total production of nearly 3.816 billion bushels.
Winter wheat production, however, was down in 2014 because the average yield per acre fell by 4.3 bushels from 2013 to 43.1 bushels this year. The number of harvested acres was up slightly to 32.419 million, but the total production was down by more than 137 million to 1.397 billion bushels.
With a modest increases of the per-acre average yield to 3.5 dry matter tons and of the harvested acres to 18.19 million, production of alfalfa hay in the United States is up to 63.634 million tons this year. The production was 57.581 million dry matter tons in 2013.
As in Wisconsin, however, the production of hay from other species is down slightly. The projected totals for 2014 are 77.197 million dry matter tons on an average of 1.96 tons from 39.456 million harvested acres.
Oat production was up by nearly 11.4 million bushels compared to 2013 thanks to increases of three bushels per acre to 67 for the average yield and of 123,000 in harvested acres to 1.153 million. This put the nation's production of oats at 77.267 million bushels.
For dry edible beans, a national production of 28,714 cwt is anticipated compared to 24,486 cwt in 2013. The number of harvested acres is up by nearly 300,000 to 1.609 million, but the average yield per acre is projected to drop by about 83 pounds to 1,784 pounds this year.