SD farmers harvest record yields

South Dakota farmers harvested record yields of corn and soybeans in 2015.

The state’s average corn yield was 159 bushels per acre, breaking the old record of 151 bushels per acre set in 2009, according to a USDA report. In addition, the state’s corn crop was the second largest all-time at 800 million bushels. The only crop that was larger was 803 million in 2013 when many more acres were planted to corn than in 2015.

Soybean production is estimated at a record high 236 million bushels, with an average yield of 46 bushels per harvested acre, also a record. Those marks break the previous records, which were set last year.

“The state’s farmers were blessed with timely rains and near-ideal growing conditions most of the season,” said Keith Alverson of Chester, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. “Combined with improved farming methods, genetics and technology, we had an extremely productive year. It’s pretty incredible to think that South Dakota corn yields are double what they were 20 years ago.”

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the official annual crop production report Jan. 12.

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