STATEWIDE—The USDA’s Aug. 12 Crop Production Report looks positive for Kansas. Based on August 1 conditions, the USDA forecasts an increase in corn, cotton, oats, sorghum and soybean production. Kansas sunflower fields also increased this year, pushing the state acreage to third in the nation – behind the Dakotas.
Corn, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, is expected to set a record of 822 million bushels. This is up 3% from last year.
Cotton is expected to increase by 34% over last year, coming in at 375,000 bales. Oat production is forecast to be 1.89 million bushels, up 64% from last year.
Both sorghum and soybean are expected to increase. Sorghum at 237 million bushels and soybean at 242 million bushels, up 16 and 30% respectively.
In sunflowers, Kansas farmers have planted more than 70,000 acres, according to the USDA acreage report. This is up by 156% from last year. Along with having between 1,000 to 2,000 seeds, each sunflower is a useful pollinator for bees, birds and butterflies.
Showing a decrease is Kansas plantings are winter wheat and alfalfa hay. Winter wheat is projected at 294 million bushels, down 13%. The USDA forecasts alfalfa to bring in 2 million tons. This would be down by 20% from last year.