Topeka Although Kansas farmers harvested their largest corn crop in 84 years this fall, area corn yields were no higher than usual, Douglas County grain experts say.
However, farmers across the state, including those in Douglas County, saw disappointing yields in their sorghum and soybean crops.
In its final estimate of the size of the three fall-harvested crops, Kansas Agricultural Statistics said Thursday that the corn crop should total 188.5 million bushels, the sorghum crop 184.8 million bushels and the soybean crop 46.8 million bushels.
That is the same estimate on corn as the reporting service made in August, when it first forecast the size of the fall crops.
Area farmers harvested a successful corn crop, but not on the level of the state averages, according to local grain elevator operators. Dean Nieder, manager of the Farmers Co-op south elevator, said the corn yield varied across Douglas County.
"Last year, the southern part of the county had the best corn crop it ever had, but this year, it was just so-so," he said, adding that corn farmers farther north fared much better than last year.
"THE CORN crop here wasn't any bin buster," Nieder said. "Maybe the state had the biggest crop ever, but not here. It was a good corn crop, but it certainly wasn't the best."
Don Harris, manager of Farmers Elevator Co. in Eudora, agreed. "I don't think our corn crop was any better than average," he said.
Brian Morray, director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, said an extremely wet spring prevented much of the county's corn from developing on time.
"A lot of corn didn't get up and out of the ground as fast as it normally does," he said, adding that the wetness also prevented some fertilizers from working effectively.
Morray also said hot, dry August weather resulted in a disappointing soybean crop for farmers in Douglas County.
THE STATE estimate on soybeans dropped from 54.6 million bushels to 46.8 million.
The state also has reduced its estimate on sorghum from 190.4 million bushels in September to 184.8 million bushels. That still is a large enough crop to allow Kansas to keep its No. 1 ranking nationally in the production of grain sorghum.
KAS will report the final, official production figures at the end of the year. The November report includes the last estimates the agency makes.
Kansas last harvested as much corn in 1906. The production that year was 197.8 million bushels. State farmers planted many more acres of corn in the late 19th century and early 20th century than they do now.
KAS SAID 1.45 million acres of corn were harvested this fall, with an average yield of 130 bushels, for the total production of 188.5 million bushels.
It also said 2.8 million acres of sorghum was cut, averaging 66 bushels per acre for a total of 184.8 million bushels.
Soybean harvest was placed at 1.95 million acres, with an average yield of 24 bushels and production of 46.8 million bushels.
The state harvested a record 472 million-bushel wheat crop last summer.