Bumper Crop Expected for Colorado Corn

Colorado corn farmers’ 2017 grain crop expected to break state record  

Although weather has caused the state’s corn to mature slowly and harvest is behind schedule, the quality of the crop looks solid — enough so that the latest USDA forecast calls for Colorado farmers to haul in 184.15 million bushels this year. That would stand as about a 15 percent increase from last year, and top the state’s all-time corn-for-grain production record of 182.71 bushels set in 2010.  

The 184.15 million bushels produced would rank 15th in the U.S. this year. The recent uptick in the USDA’s forecast for Colorado, compared to previous projections, comes from increasing the anticipated acres harvested, by about 50,000 — up to 1.27 million acres (the most harvested since 2011). As far as yields, this month’s forecast remained the same from earlier projections, calling for 145 bushels per acre (best since 2014).  

Other recent USDA reports showed that 24 percent of the state’s corn crop is in “excellent” condition, 60 percent is listed as “good,” 13 percent is “fair,” only 3 percent is “poor,” and none are “very poor.” As of Sunday, corn-for-grain harvest was 12 percent complete in the state, (five-year average is 31 percent), while 73 percent of the crop had reached the mature stage (five-year average is 89 percent). 

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 the recent forecasts, with harvest only 12 percent complete. Corn-silage harvest is nearly complete 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.  


Nationwide, 15 percent of the corn crop is in “excellent” condition, 50 percent is listed as “good,” 24 percent is “fair,” 8 percent is “poor,” and 3 percent is “very poor.” Additionally, corn-for-grain harvest was 28 percent complete nationally, (five-year average is 47 percent), while 90 percent of the U.S. crop has reached the mature stage (five-year average is 94 percent).  

Although forecasts call for Colorado to see an increase in grain production, the U.S. as a whole is expected to see its total corn-for-grain production drop from 15.15 billion bushels last year down to 14.28 billion bushels this year.


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