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Despite dry weather, near record corn crop expected in Nebraska

Despite dry weather, near record corn crop expected in Nebraska

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With only 1.78 inches of precipitation in Grand Island during the last seven weeks, dry conditions have put corn and soybean harvest ahead of schedule with a near record corn harvest expected despite the extended dry summer weather.

Since August, Grand Island’s precipitation is nearly 3 inches less than the 30-year average. The forecast, according to the National Weather Service in Hastings, through the weekend, calls for continued dry weather with high temperatures in the 80s and upper 70s and lows in the 50s.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that Nebraska corn condition rated 6% very poor, 9% poor, 21% fair, 44% good and 20% excellent. Corn dented was 97%, ahead of the 88% last year, and the 94% five-year average. Corn maturity was 65%, well ahead of the 32% last year and the 47% average. Corn harvested was 10%, ahead of the 2% last year and the 4% average.

Earlier this month, the USDA announced, based on Sept. 1 conditions, Nebraska’s 2020 corn crop is forecast at 1.78 billion bushels, down slightly from last year’s production. Area harvested for grain, at 9.45 million acres, is down 4% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, up 6 bushels from last year.

Nationwide, the USDA said corn production for grain is forecast at 14.9 billion bushels, down 2% from the previous forecast but up 9% from 2019. Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average a record high 178.5 bushels per harvested acre, down 3.3 bushels from the previous forecast but up 11.1 bushels from last year. The area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.5 million acres, down 1% from the previous forecast, but up 3% from the previous year.

The forecast 1.78 billion bushel corn harvest is similar to the last two years, which each totaled 1.785 billion bushels. In 2012, the year Nebraska suffered through a major drought, farmers harvested 1.292 billion bushels, of which, 1.097 billion bushels came from irrigated ground.

Nebraska soybean conditions rated 5% very poor, 8% poor, 21% fair, 49% good and 17% excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 82%, well ahead of the 46% last year and the 62% average. Harvested was 10%, which is ahead of the 4% average.

The USDA reported that state soybean production is forecast at 297 million bushels, up 5% from last year. Area for harvest, at 4.95 million acres, is up 2% from 2019. Yield is forecast at 60 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from a year ago.

Nationwide, soybean production is forecast at 4.31 billion bushels, down 3% from the previous forecast but up 21% from last year.

Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average a record high 51.9 bushels per harvested acre, down 1.4 bushels from the previous forecast but up 4.5 bushels from 2019. Area harvested for beans in the United States is forecast at 83 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast but up 11% from 2019.

For other Nebraska crops:

— Winter wheat planted was 40%, near 42% last year and 43% average. Emerged was 4%, near the 7% average.

— Sorghum condition rated 4% very poor, 8% poor, 22% fair, 39% good and 27% excellent. Sorghum coloring was 93%, near the 90% last year and the 94% average. Mature was 49%, well ahead of the 17% last year and ahead of the 36% average. Harvested was 2%, near the 3% average.

— Dry edible bean condition rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 9% fair, 70% good and 18% excellent. Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 85%, ahead of the 77% last year. Harvested was 62%, well ahead of the 30% last year.

State pasture and range conditions rated 11% very poor, 22% poor, 27% fair, 38% good and 2% excellent.

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