Crop Insurance Today Second Quarter 2020 - 8

Table 1

Crop Yields and Production
	 2018	
2019	
CROP

Corn
Barley
Grain Sorghum
Soybeans
All Wheat
Winter Wheat
Other Spring Wheat
Durum
Upland Cotton
Rice

2018	

2019	

% CHANGE IN

	YIELD	
YIELD	 PRODUCTION	 PRODUCTION	 PRODUCTION
	 Bu./Harv. Ac.	 Bu./Harv. Ac.	
Mill. Bu.	
Mill. Bu.
	176.4	 168.0	
14,340	
13,691	
-4.5
	77.5	 77.7	
154	
170	
10.4
	72.1	 73.0	
365	
341	
-6.6
	50.6	 47.4	
4,428	
3,558	
-19.6
	47.6	 51.7	
1,885	
1,920	
1.9
	47.9	 53.6	
1,184	
1,304	
10.1
	48.3	 48.2	
623	
562	
-9.8
	39.5	 45.7	
78	
54	
-30.8
	 Lbs./Harv. Ac.		
1,000 Bales
8	
47	
803	
17,566	
19,380	
10.3
	 Lbs./Harv. Ac.		
1,000 Cwt.
	7,692	 7,471	 223,833	 184,675	
-17.5

Source: NASS Crop Production Annual Summary, January 2020

the corn and soybean crops throughout the year
were evident in late September crop development. By the end of September, only 43 percent
of the nation's corn crop had reached maturity,
which marked the slowest crop development in
the previous 10 years. The soybean crop was also
far behind, with only 55 percent of the plants
dropping leaves as of September 29, the slowest
pace of development since 1996.
Farmers' hopes for improving conditions for
their slowly developing corn and soybean crops
were dashed when more unfavorable cold and
stormy weather, along with the first freeze of the
season, spread across the northern Plains and upper Midwest in mid-October. The continued bad
weather affected the sugar beet, sunflower, and
spring wheat harvests in the nation's North Central region. The rest of the nation experienced a
mix of weather conditions in early October. The
South and East experienced above normal temperatures followed by heavy rainfall in some areas, while the western and central regions were
mostly dry with cooler than normal temperatures. Once again, California was burdened by
high winds and dry conditions that, combined
with abundant vegetation, contributed to wildfires in late October. The most notable was the
78,000-acre Kincade Fire in the area of Sonoma
County known for its wine grapes.
November weather began with storms in
the Southwest that provided much needed precipitation, while the early season snowpack in
the Northwest deteriorated, failing to stem the
extended dry and cooler than normal weather
conditions. Storms pushed eastward late in the
month resulting in snowfalls that further delayed
the slow pace of corn, soybean, and sunflower
8

SECONDQUARTER2020

harvest in the Plains and the Midwest. Rainfall in
the Southeast eased the continuing dry conditions
but unfortunately did not reach Florida, which
continued to experience below-average levels of
precipitation. Despite difficult weather conditions
throughout the crop year, 97 percent of the corn
and soybean crops in the 18 major producing
states had been harvested by the end of November. This was just one and two percent, respectively, behind their previous five-year average.
[The information sources for this section were:
National Agricultural Statistics Service, ISSN:
1057-7823, Crop Production 2019 Summary, January 2020; and ISSN: 1936 - 3737, Monthly Crop
Production; https://usda.library.cornell.edu/
concern/publications/tm70mv177?locale=en]

Crop Production Summary

The difficult weather conditions farmers experienced throughout the growing season contributed to a widespread decline in crop production in 2019. Among the seven major crops
monitored, only barley, winter wheat, and cotton
posted increases in output over the previous year.
CORN
Corn production declined largely due to lower yields, down 8.4 bushels per acre (4.8 percent)
from 2018 as harvested acreage remained virtually unchanged. Increased barley production was
a function of increased acreage, harvesting 2.18
million acres, 10 percent greater than in 2018,
while yields increased less than one percent. The
decline in sorghum production was linked to a
falloff in planted acres in 2019, down seven percent from last year, at a record low level of 5.27
million acres that more than offset a modest 1.2
percent increase in average yields. Soybean pro-

duction fell in 2019 with both acreage and yield
declining from 2018 levels. Harvested soybean
acreage fell by 14 percent, from 87.6 million in
2018 to 75 million in 2019. The decline in production was exacerbated by average yields falling
by more than six percent.
WHEAT
Growing conditions were more favorable for
hard red winter wheat than many other crops,
and its performance was largely responsible for
the increase across all wheat production. Hard
red winter wheat harvested acreage increased
around two percent in 2019; however, average
yields increased by more than 23 percent. The
combined increased acreage and yields resulted
in production of 833 million acres, up 26 percent
from 2018. In contrast, soft red winter wheat harvested acreage declined by 16 percent from the
previous year. Yields were virtually unchanged,
resulting in an equivalent decline in production;
239 million bushels in 2019, down from 286 million bushels last year. Other spring wheat production declined in line with a reduction in harvested acres and little change in average yields.
Despite a significant yield increase of almost 16
percent, durum wheat production fell by almost
31 percent as a result of a 40 percent decline in
2019 harvested acres from the previous year.
UPLAND COTTON
Despite challenges during the growing season
from excess moisture in the Delta, hot and dry
conditions in the Southeast, and a very hot summer in Texas, the nation's upland cotton crop was
up by more than 10 percent from 2018; 19.4 million bales versus 17.6 million bales. The increase
in production occurred as a decline in yields, five
percent from the previous year, was offset by a 16
percent increase in harvested acres; 11.6 million
acres versus just under 10 million acres in 2018.
RICE
Rice farmers also faced daunting growing
conditions as excess rainfall in the South resulted in delayed and prevented plantings of the
long-grain crop. Combined with lower price expectations in the face of higher carry in stocks,
long-grain rice farmers planted 19 percent less
acreage in 2019; 1.8 million acres, down from 2.2
million in 2018. Combined with a three percent
decline in yields from the previous year, 2019
production of long-grain rice fell by 23 percent,
accounting for 97 percent of the total decline in
the nation's rice production in 2019. Medium
and short grain rice production each declined


https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/tm70mv177?locale=en https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/tm70mv177?locale=en

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