Colorado Corn Farmers Expecting Large Grain Crop


USDA Forecast: Colorado corn farmers expected to haul in largest grain crop in six years

Colorado’s corn-for-grain production in 2017 is expected to come in at 176.9 million bushels, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast released this month. That total would stand as about a 10 percent increase compared to 2016, and as the most bushels harvested since 2011.

The boost in production compared to recent years stems from the USDA’s anticipated increase for both acres harvested in Colorado (1.22 million, which would be the most in the state since 2013) and also a predicted bump in yields (145.0 bushels per acre — the most since 2014).

About 90 percent of the state’s corn acres are harvested for grain. It will be a while before Colorado’s actual corn-for-grain production can be compared to forecasts, as harvest was only about 2 percent complete this week. Corn-silage harvest, though, is well underway in Colorado, where about 10 percent of corn acres are harvested for silage. However, the USDA does not release state-by-state forecasts for silage.

The USDA also reported recently that 14 percent of Colorado’s crop was listed as “excellent” and 51 percent was “good” (while 24 percent was “fair,” 10 percent was “poor,” and 1 percent was listed as “very poor”). Additionally, 71 percent of the state’s crop had reached the denting stage (trailing the five-year of 88 percent) and 19 percent had reached the mature stage (behind the five-year average of 30 percent).

Unlike Colorado, U.S. as a whole is expected to see corn-for-grain production decrease:

Although forecasts call for Colorado to see an increase in grain production, the same can’t be said for farmers nationwide, as the U.S. is expected to see its total corn-for-grain production drop from 15.15 billion bushels last year down to 14.18 billion bushels this year.

For the nation as a whole, the USDA anticipates a decrease in both acres harvested (about 83.50 million acres this year, down from 86.75 million in 2016), and a dip in yields (169.9 bushels per acre this year, down from last year’s 174.6).

In terms of the nationwide crop condition, the USDA reported this week that 13 percent of the U.S. crop was listed as “excellent” and 48 percent was “good,” while 26 percent was “fair,” 9 percent was “poor,” and 4 percent was listed as “very poor.”

That report also showed that 86 percent of the nation’s crop had reached the denting stage, which trails the five-year of 90 percent for this time of the year. Similarly, 34 percent of the U.S. crop had reached the mature stage, which is also behind the five-year average of 47 percent.

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