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2013 Yields, 2014 Weather

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
April 2, 2014         
Source:  Dan Martens, Extension Educator
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

2013 Yields, 2014 Weather
By Dan Martens, University of Minnesota Extension

FOLEY, Minn. (03/27/14) — The National Ag Statistics Service has posted their assessment of 2013 yields for some Minnesota Crops. I can find the website where this data is posted pretty easily by doing a Google Internet search for “NASS Minnesota County Estimates 2013.” Here are some figures for how some crops stacked up in Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties. CS is Corn Silage. SW is Spring Wheat. Soy is Soybean. N/A means Not Available. T means tons. Other figures are in bushels. 2012 corn and soybean yields are listed.

NASS 2013 Yield Estimates
                Benton    Morrison  Stearns
Corn         95.3       89.8         134.4
CS            N/A        13T          14T
Soy          24.8        20.5         31.1
Oats         52.1       33.4         52.2
SW            N/A        36.3        39.5
‘12 Corn  153.2      147.6      166.6
‘12 Soy     40.1       38.7         42.3

This is an average for harvested acres for irrigated and non-irrigated land. For grain crops like corn it is the yield of acres harvested for grain. In some areas with late planting, drought, hail and other issues – more acres were harvested for corn silage compared to normal years. This sometimes skews the grain yield higher than what it would have been across all the normal acres that would have been harvested for grain. This could easily be true for 2013.

There are several factors that can affect corn grain and silage acres, such as the general mix of these crop related to other crops grown. Strong corn prices in 2011 and 2012 resulted in more total acres of corn raised. Short supplies and high prices for hay might prompt higher use of corn silage in rations. NASS reports acres harvested for corn silage for the last 5 year as follows for Central and East Central Minnesota. Benton Stearns and Morrison Counties are on the north and east edge of the Central area. So East Central numbers also reflect what the corn silage harvest is like in our area.

Corn Silage Acres & Yield
              Central Area           East Central
              Acres       Yld         Acres      Yld

2012     101,000   17.5       16,300   16.5
2013     132,000   14.0       23,400   10.0

90-Day Weather Outlook

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center released a new seasonal outlook on Thursday March 20. For the sake of the National Geography Bee, NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is integral with National Weather Service.

The outlook for April through June favors cooler than normal temperatures across the northern plains and the Great Lakes region, including Minnesota. This outlook follows the recent trend in our region of cooler than normal temperatures since November of 2013.

The outlook for precipitation for April through June is uncertain with equal chances for below or above normal values. Wetter than normal conditions are expected in the first part of April. If the last half of April and May stay a little drier than last year, there could be a chance to do some planting a little earlier than last year. Time will tell. We know weather patterns for the WHOLE summer are important for the crop.

Lessons learned in other cool spring years might be important again this year. Farmers generally approach spring with their preferred Plan A in mind; and aim to be ready with other options and they see how things unfold, based on previous experience. They do the best they can; and we all benefit at the grocery store and the dinner table. We hope farmers benefit in the grain bin, bulk tank and marketplace as well.


Daniel Martens
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems
(320) 968-5077
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