Once again, Ohio's corn farmers delivered another successful crop — as promised — while encountering record precipitation this past year, according to comments from the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association following the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service annual crop report released recently.
Farmers were forced to wait for brief dry bouts to plant on waterlogged fields this past spring, experienced a hot, dry summer and most recently experienced rainfall throughout the fall making it exceedingly difficult to harvest their crops. In many parts of the state, some farmers waited for the ground to freeze to complete their harvest.
Despite bad weather, the delayed 2011 harvest is the third-most plentiful yield on record for Ohio's corn. It was accomplished as the result of demanding man-hours and modernized industry improvements.
The extent of the progression of the agricultural industry, such as advanced seed varieties, GPS equipment and precision technology, has enabled farm efficiency.
Biotechnology and machinery evolution helped to mitigate weather delays and make food, feed and fuel less costly, more abundant and more dependable, according to the group.
Ohio's 2011 average corn yield is estimated at 158 bushels per acre, which is a decrease of 5 bushels from the previous year, but a very productive number considering the many challenges faced in 2011. Producers harvested 3.22 million acres for grain this past year, compared to 3.27 million acres in 2010. Ohio's total production of 508.8 million bushels is only 5% less than the 2010 total.
The U.S. corn for grain production is estimated at 12.4 billion bushels, only 1% less than 2010. The average U.S. yield for 2011 is estimated at 147.2 bushels per acre. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 84.0 million acres, an increase of 3 percent from 2010.
"It's remarkable that our growers accomplished what they did given the extreme conditions," says Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association interim executive director. "Corn farmers continually meet the demand for all market needs with a surplus of corn available."
The USDA Crop Production Summary can be accessed at www.nass.usda.gov.