The newest crop totals are in and they’re not too shabby.
 
The USDA looks at crop forecasts and then actual yields each month in Missouri. While the USDA Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service says it expected crop yields to be higher, farmers didn’t do too bad this year. What the USDA’s Agriculture Statistics Office in Missouri is calling “a near perfect harvest season” is rapidly coming to a close.

Deputy Director Jerry Thorson says corn and soybeans are 98 percent harvest and everything else — sorghum, cotton and rice — are finished. The fall harvest ends nearly a month ahead of schedule due to the sunny, warm and dry weather in October.

He says despite adequate rainfall and the ideal harvest season weather, farmers were both surprised and disappointed with the corn yield once the combines started rolling; the yield is down 13 percent from last year. Soybeans are also down from 2009, though not as much.

Southeast Missouri’s cotton crop is a different story. The massive haul — 173 pounds per acre — is a record year, second only to 2008.

Rice and sorghum yields are also up this year. The USDA says the extended dry spell has propelled the harvest to a near record pace, but has delayed the emergence of next year’s winter wheat crop.
 
Soybeans came in at 41 bushels per acre, 2.5 percent below last year. It’s still the third largest on record behind 2009 and 2004, due mostly to an increase in planted acres.
 
Corn is down 13 percent from last year, coming in at 127 bushels per acre. Last year’s totals averaged 153.
 
Jessica Machetta reports [Download / listen Mp3]