Economic Tidbits

Crop Production Rebounds

Production figures from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service show that with a few exceptions, crop production in Nebraska rebounded in 2023 compared to 2022. In 2022, production was lower for most crops due to drought, down 10-65 percent compared 2021. The largest production increase last year was seen in dry edible peas, up 178 percent. A significant yield increase, over 200 percent, offset a reduction in planted acres. Sorghum also saw large yield gains resulting in a production increase of 139 percent. The production of hay, including alfalfa, was 10 percent larger. Production in 2022 was off nearly one-third compared to 2021. Dry beans saw the largest decline in 2023, off 23 percent. Acres planted were off a bit and acres harvested were down 15 percent compared to 2022. Sunflower production was also down 3 percent in 2023.

FIGURE 1. PERCENTAGE CHANGES IN NEBRASKA CROP PRODUCTION (2023 VS. 2022)

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Production changes for Nebraska’s two largest crops, corn and soybeans, was mixed. Corn production was up 19 percent due to a rebound in yields. The average yield last year was 185 bushels per acre compared to 165 bushels in 2022. On the other hand, soybean production was off 4 percent because fewer acres were planted. Average yield, 51.5 bushels, came in higher compared to 2022, 49 bushels, although yields in both years were much less compared to the record yield of 63 bushels in 2021. One has to go back to 2013 to find lower soybean production in Nebraska.

FIGURE 2. NEBRASKA CORN/SOYBEAN PRODUCTION (1990-2023)

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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