Government forecasters predict Kansas farmers this season will bring in far bigger harvests of corn, sorghum and soybeans than during last year’s drought.
In its monthly crop production report released Friday, the National Agricultural Statistics Service said this year’s corn harvest in Kansas would bring in 520 million bushels. That’s 37 percent more corn than a year ago, even though only slightly more acres are being harvested.
Kansas farmers are harvesting some 4 million corn acres this season, up 1 percent from a year ago. The anticipated average yields of 130 bushels per acre are up 34 bushels an acre from what farmers were cutting in 2012.
The government forecast also estimates the state’s sorghum crop at 187 million bushels will be more than double what farmers cut last year.
Growers in the state are cutting 2.75 million acres of sorghum, or 31 percent more acres than they did last year. Yields are forecast at 68 bushels per acre, up 29 bushels from last year.
Soybean production is forecast at 124 million bushels, up 45 percent from a year ago, the agency said.
The agency said the 3.54 million acres of soybeans being cut this year are down 7 percent below last year, but production is still up because yields are so much better this season. Farmers have been getting 35 bushels per acre of soybeans this year, about 12.5 bushels per acre more than a year ago.
Cotton production is forecast at 34,000 bales. That’s down 51 percent from last year, even though cotton yields are up, because farmers planted far fewer acres of it.
Kansas farmers also planted fewer acres of sunflowers and dry beans this year, but the agency’s production forecast for those crops won’t be published until January.