Despite fewer harvested acres, Iowa's average corn yield rose sharply in 2013 and Kossuth County retained its standing as the leading corn producer for 63 years.
Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service show farmers in the north central Iowa county harvested an estimated 50.9 million bushels of corn, down from 52.8 million bushels in 2012. Kossuth is the largest county in the state by land area and has the most harvested acres of corn.
Corn yields rebounded significantly in 2013, but no counties averaged more than 200 bushels per acre. The statewide average corn yield was 165 bushels per acre in 2013, up from 137 bushels per acre in 2012.
Dubuque County had the highest average yield with an estimated 196.4 bushels per acre. No counties averaged under 100 bushels per acre in 2013 and some counties recorded significant increases.
For the second year in a row, Appanoose County recorded the lowest estimated yield at 112.5 bushels per acre.
The average corn yield in east-central Iowa — which includes Linn, Johnson and surrounding counties — rose 29.4 percent to 174.3 bushels per acre in 2013 from 134.7 bushels per acre in 2012.
Linn County corn farmers averaged 179.7 bushels per acre last year, up sharply from 124.2 bushels per acre in 2012. Johnson County producers recorded an average corn yield of 182.3 bushels per acre in 2013, an increase from 132.4 bushels per acre the previous year.
Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Sioux and Kossuth were the four largest soybean-producing counties in Iowa, with Plymouth the largest, producing 9.7 million bushels. Wet and cool conditions early in the year followed by drier conditions during summer months led to mixed yields compared to last year.
The statewide average soybean yield was 44.5 bushels per acre in 2013, unchanged from the previous year. The average soybean yield in east-central Iowa fell by 4.6 percent to 47.5 bushels per acre in 2013 from 49.8 bushels per acre in 2012.
Linn County soybean farmers averaged 45.2 bushels per acre last year, down 0.88 percent from 45.6 bushels per acre in 2012. Johnson County producers recorded an average soybean yield of 45.3 bushels per acre in 2013, down 3.4 percent from 46.9 bushels per acre in 2012.
Looking ahead, net farm income was forecast at the USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum on Friday to be $95.8 billion in 2014, down 26.6 percent from 2013’s forecast of $130.5 billion. The 2014 forecast would be the lowest since 2010, but would remain $8 billion above the previous 10-year average.Crop receipts are expected to decrease more than 12 percent in 2014, led by a projected $11 billion decline in corn receipts and a $6 billion decline in soybean receipts.