Economic Tidbits

Nebraska 2018 Crop Production Higher

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According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (USDA-NASS) most recent 2018 crop production estimates, Nebraska corn production in 2018 was 1.788 billion bushels, up 6 percent from 2017, and Nebraska soybean production was 2 percent greater than 2017, totaling 333 million bushels. The charts below plot Nebraska corn and soybean production since 2000. It’s no surprise that Nebraska production of both crops has trended upward over time. Corn production in 2018 was 76 percent greater than production in 2000 while soybean production last year was 92 percent more. The growth in production over this period is largely the result of improving yields. Acres planted to corn in 2018 were only 13 percent more than that planted in 2000. And, the acres planted to soybeans last year were just 23 percent greater than that planted in 2000.

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Source: NEFB based on data from USDA-NASS

The 2018 production numbers and percentage changes from 2017 for several Nebraska crops are shown in Table 1. The biggest production change from year-to-year was in sorghum, up 38 percent from the prior year. The big spike is directly attributable to an increase in planted acres last year. The production of hay also grew significantly last year. Interestingly, in the production of hay, alfalfa, haylage, etc., Nebraska is second only to Texas in tons of production. On the other end of the spectrum, sunflowers and dry beans saw the largest production declines last year. Again, this is due to less acres being planted to these crops. Sunflower acres were down 19 percent from the prior year and dry bean acres were down 22 percent.

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