Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2000

Shucks! Corn beats wheat this year

August 12, 2000


— A bumper harvest of corn will surpass wheat production this year in Kansas, the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service said Friday.

The much-anticipated government forecast said Kansas growers would reap 464.8 million bushels of corn this fall. That compares with 362.7 million bushels of wheat harvested from this year's beleaguered winter wheat crop.

The Lawrence-based Farmers Cooperative Assn. expects to receive 16 million bushels of corn, soybeans and milo this year, up from 10 million a year ago.The above-average crops could overload already tight supplies of trucks and rail cars, originator Brad Schweitzer said."We anticipate having some transportation and logistics problems," he said. "Elevator space is really tight already."

"It is a huge crop, and everyone knew it would be," said Sue Schulte, spokeswoman for the Kansas Corn Growers Assn.

The bountiful corn crop in the state is 11 percent more than last year's record and, if realized, would make this the fifth consecutive year of bumper corn harvests in Kansas.

Kansas farmers planted 3.25 million acres into corn, compared with the nearly 10 million acres they had planted in winter wheat. But corn fields yield more bushels per acre than wheat fields and the wheat harvest already was poor.

KASS predicted corn yields would average 143 bushels per acre, up two bushels per acre from a year ago.

By contrast, Kansas farmers got just 39 bushels per acre from their battered wheat fields earlier this summer. That was eight bushels per acre less than a year earlier.

Kansas soybean growers also are expected to harvest a record crop, of 91.2 million bushels. It would be 16 percent more than last year, with yields expected of 32 bushels per acre.

Near-ideal growing conditions across America's heartland could bring the nation's biggest crops of corn and soybeans in history, the Agriculture Department said Friday.

U.S. corn production should reach 10.4 billion bushels the largest production and highest yield on record since the government started keeping records in 1866, USDA said. The previous record was 10.05 billion bushels of corn, set in 1994.

Such production could push December corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade down to $1.70 per bushel and possibly lower, Kansas State University economist Bill Tierney said in an analysis.

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