Crop report has ‘record breaking’ written all over it

LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska farmers brought in a record 1.58 billion bushel corn crop this growing season – produced on nearly 4 percent fewer acres than the previous record thanks to a record yield of 178.0 bushels per acre, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported today.

“It is encouraging to see USDA report that corn supplies continue to grow,” said Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “This despite the fact that 354,000 acres with a value of about $221 million are still standing in Nebraska fields. That, too, may be a record for January, but we certainly hope farmers have a chance to get those bushels harvested.”

Nationally, USDA said farmers produced a record 13.15 billion bushels on nearly 8 percent fewer acres than the previous record. National yields blew by the previous record by nearly 5 bushels per acre to 165.2 bushels.

Yet about 5 percent of the crop is still in the field – with a value of $2.29 billion. USDA said it will resurvey farmers in some states and adjust acres, yields, production and stocks estimates if necessary in its March 10 report. Nebraska will not be part of that survey.

Hutchens said it is important for farmers and grain elevators to monitor grain they have in storage to maintain quality. “This was a crop that struggled to dry down in the field and had to be harvested with a higher moisture content than normal,” he said. “While everyone worked hard to get this done, we know there is some wet corn in bins that may require additional attention come spring.”

With corn production continuing to expand thanks to improved technology, farming practices and know-how, the need to develop and support new markets grows, too, according to Curt Friesen, a member of the Nebraska Corn Board and a farmer from Henderson.

“Nebraska is blessed with 23 operating ethanol plants, some 2.4 million head of cattle on feed, a wealth of other livestock and poultry and a solid processing sector to utilize this record corn crop,” Friesen said. “Every time a bushel of corn is used in the state, positive economic returns ripple through rural communities and the state’s economy as a whole.”

Yet without the efforts of developing and growing those markets, corn farmers and the state’s economy would suffer, said Friesen, who is chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board’s market development committee.

“Without ethanol or a livestock industry, we would be in dire straits,” Friesen said. “It takes both these markets and all the others for farmers and the state to be successful.”

Crop yields will continue to advance in the future, Hutchens said, because farmers have access to biotechnology, new equipment technology and more.

“We also have a farmer knowledge-base that is just incredible,” Hutchens said. “It’s the farmers that know how to use these tools, which allow them to produce more corn on fewer acres with fewer inputs. They are the true ‘CornHuskers’ who are breaking records.”

It is those farmers who have made the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Grower Association’s “Sustaining Innovation” campaign possible, he said. “The farmers ability to produce record crops on less land with fewer inputs is what that campaign is all about,” he said. “Farmers made it happen.”

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

Broadcasters: There are three audio cuts that accompany this news release.

(28 seconds): Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board, talks about the record-breaking crop.

(40 seconds): Hutchens talks about the crop remaining in the field – and its value.

(49 seconds): Hutchens talks about large ending stocks and farmers meeting demands – at the same time understanding markets for corn need to expand.

    For Your Information

    The RFS Works!