Madison (AP) — Experts are predicting record corn and soybean yields throughout much of Wisconsin, thanks to a near-perfect growing season.
The corn crop is impressive, experts say. National Agriculture Statistics Service figures show that farmers are expected to produce 549 million bushels of corn this year. That is nearly 7 percent higher than the record 515 million bushels harvested in 2011 and up 57 million bushels, or 11.6 percent, from last year's total, the State Journal reported.
The record for irrigated corn is 327 bushels an acre set in 2012 by Plover farmer Jeff Laskowski, while the record for non-irrigated corn is 322.3 bushels an acre was set in 2013 by Bloomington farmer Betty Steiger, according to the National Corn Growers Association. A bushel weighs 56 pounds.
""I would imagine we'll get to 300 this year by somebody around here, and I think it's that good that we'll get it. That's the number farmers dream of," said Heidi Johnson, UW-Extension's Dane County agricultural agent.
It's a banner year for soybeans as well with the average state yield expected to reach 101 million bushels, breaking the record of 92.6 million bushels set last year.
Record yields were predicted after Wisconsin led the country for the highest percentage of corn and soybeans in good or excellent condition for much of the growing season. A rainy spell in September created problems with the harvest in some parts of the state, but it didn't hamper the crops in south-central Wisconsin.
"In my three decades doing this, this is the best growing season we've had. It might be another 30 years before we see a year like this again," said Mark Mayer, UW-Extension's ag agent for Green County.