Record corn and soybean harvests possible

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Elevators across the county have been getting fatter as the fall deepens. Thanks to favorable weather, the corn and soybean production in Minnesota could be among the highest on record.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture forecasts that corn production in the state will be 986 million bushels, up 180 million bushels from 2001. The predicted average yield per acre is 145 bushels, improving by 15 bushels from last year. Nationally, production decreased by 7 percent, and the average yield is 128 bushels.

Soybeans could enjoy record-high production of 296.7 million bushels, beating the previous record from 2000. A 43-bushel average forecast yield is also a record high.

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The department says nationally both corn and soybean production have shown decreases due to hot and dry conditions in past months across the corn belt. But, the northern Midwest had above-average precipitation.

According to the statistics, Freeborn County produced 21,600,000 bushels of corn and 6,197,500 bushels of soybeans last year, which ranks eighth and 14th in the state. There are about 1,150 farms in the county with an average of 330 acres of farmland.