Against all odds, South Dakota’s corn farmers again busted records by exceeding all production projections to harvest 719 million bushels of corn in 2009. That’s nearly 30 million bushels more than December 2009 estimates.
“Unbelievable results from an unbelievable year! We knew a tremendous crop was in the fields but no one could have fully predicted what the combined total would reach,” said David Fremark, president of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC). “Famers’ commitment to feeding the world has just been confirmed.”
This amazing record was set despite the fact that not all of the 2009 S.D. corn crop was able to be harvested yet due to weather conditions which have caused the latest harvest on record. USDA issued a statement following today’s report stating that National Agriculture Statistics Service will resurvey producers in states with late harvests.
Even so, to date, South Dakota farmers produced 23 percent more corn on just 7 percent additional acres in 2009, proving that efficiencies in production outpace resource requirements by more than three times.
“Because of the way we manage our land sustainably, select the technology to plant in our fields and precisely feed our crop, we have achieved levels we’ve never thought possible,” said Fremark. “South Dakota farmers are true environmentalists, protecting our resources to optimize our productivity.”
The previous S.D. corn production record of 585.2 million bushels was set in 2008. The final 2009 yield, at 153 bushels per acre, is up 3 bushels from November 2009 and up 20 bushels from 2008, setting a new record high. Producers harvested 4.7 million acres of grain for 2009, up 7 percent from 2008.
Nationwide, corn showed production up by 230 mil bushels, due to a record yield of 165.2 bushels per acre. The crop is 13.2 billion bushels, and the carryout will increase by 89 mil bushels to 1.8 billion bushels of free stocks at the end of the year after all needs are met. The average price producers received for the 2009 crop was raised by 15 cents to $3.70 per bushel for the crop year.
The new national record was set on 7 million fewer acres than were required to produce the second-largest crop on record (13.0 billion bushels) in 2007, according to USDA.
“Time and again our nation’s corn producers have exceeded all expectations in productivity and yield,” said Fremark. “What’s more is this increase is accomplished while decreasing our environmental footprint. Technology advances in biotechnology and equipment together with sound farming practices have and will continue to increase our ability to provide for a growing population.”
For ethanol, USDA is estimating 4.2 billion bushels of demand for the marketing year September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010. That is enough to produce 11.7 billion gallons of ethanol based on industry ethanol yield averages. For calendar year 2009, the U.S. is expected to produce 10.6 billion gallons of ethanol and more than 30 million metric tons of livestock feed from 3.8 billion bushels of corn.
“I guess you can say we will have our corn … and feed-eat-and fuel with it too,” said Fremark.