Fundamentally Speaking

20-Year Acreage, Yield & Output Trends in Top Corn States

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst

Interesting to see that there are millions of bushels of corn left in North Dakota still to be harvested due to last year's inclement weather with heavy spring rains delaying planting of that crop.

This resulted in much of the corn seeded in that state reaching physical maturity very late in the fall when another round of intense precipitation, much of it in the form of snow buried a large part of the crop with many farmers opting to harvest those remaining bushels this spring.

In years past this would not be much of a market factor but the fact is that no state of the top 18 producing ones has increased their corn acreage and production on a percentage basis like North Dakota.

This chart shows the 20-year capital annualized growth rates (CAGR) for corn harvested acreage, yields and production for top 18 states and U.S.

Over the past two decades, North Dakota's corn production has increased annually by an average of 7.7% fueled by a rise in harvested acreage of 6.4% as the average percent increase in yields has averaged a much more modest 1.2% annually.

As we have noted in the past, corn acreage in North Dakota has expanded dramatically since the year 2000 based on better net returns on a per acre basis compared to other crops traditionally seeded in that area such as durum and hard red spring wheat, rapeseed, linseed and minor crops such as lentils and peas.

Adding to this trend has been warmer temperatures and an improvement in shorter season yields relative to full season varieties.

The other two states notable for their surge in corn output over the past 20 years have been Tennessee, up an average of 4.6% per year with the gains split between a 2.3% annual increase in both harvested acreage and yields, and Kansas at 3.4% with the yield growth there essentially flat

This has been driven entirely by harvested acreage increasing by an annual rate of 3.3% since 2000.

Meanwhile both Michigan and Ohio have seen production declines over the past 20 seasons linked primarily to lower harvested acreage.



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