Topeka — Kansas farmers are expected to reap record harvests of corn and grain sorghum this fall, Kansas Agricultural Statistics reported Wednesday.
The September estimate of corn production was placed at 340.75 million bushels, unchanged from the August forecast.
If realized, that size corn crop would be 12 percent above the record 304.59 million bushels of corn harvested in 1994 and 39.5 percent above the 1995 crop, which totaled just 244.28 million bushels.
KAS estimates that 2.35 million acres of corn will be harvested this fall, with an average yield of 145 bushels. The per-acre yield is second only to the 150-bushel average of 1992.
Kansas, the national leader, also is expected to produce a record 331.2 million bushels of sorghum -- 6.4 percent higher than the record 311.25 bushels of 1986 and 91 percent above the 1995 production of 173.6 million bushels.
Farmers are expected to cut 4.6 million acres of sorghum with an average yield of 72 bushels. The yield was increased by KAS from a projected 67 bushels in its August outlook.
Similarly, KAS increased the expected yield on soybeans from 30 bushels in its August report to 34 bushels this month.
State farmers are now expected to harvest 68 million bushels of soybeans -- an average yield of 34 bushels from two million acres.
The state record soybean crop came in 1994, when production totaled 73.5 million bushels.
Charles Ruckman, KAS agricultural statistician, credited favorable growing conditions this summer for the bumper fall-harvested crops.
``The weather has just been excellent across the state,'' Ruckman said. ``Moisture has been good, and the dryland production is looking very good.''
The good fall crop production should help farmers recover somewhat from a mediocre wheat crop this year. Kansas' wheat production fell to just 237.6 million bushels, down 17 percent from 1995, as drought last fall and winter decimated much of the wheat.
The state record wheat crop came in 1990 when 472 million bushels were harvested.