By Katie Drewitz
University of Minnesota
Fillmore and Houston Counties
As I return to Southeast Minnesota, I wanted to dig into the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) crop yield estimates. Looking at this data is an opportunity to assess yield trends in the counties to better understand yield potential. Today’s article will focus on corn and soybeans, but NASS also has estimated yields for a variety of other crops across several years.
Estimated corn and soybean yields from 2021 were numerically up for both Fillmore and Houston County. Corn yields in Fillmore County were estimated at 204.2 bushels per acre with soybean yield estimates at 62.1bu/ac. Both values are up from 2020. For Houston County, corn yields were estimated at 202 bushels per acre, and soybean yields came in at 57.4 bushels per acre which again, is up from 2020. The statewide estimate corn yield was 178 bushels per acre and 47 bushels per acre for soybeans in 2021. Both of these statewide values are down from the 191 bushels per acre corn yield and 50 bushel per acre soybean yields estimated in 2020.
When looking at the yield data from the past 10 years, it is clear there is a lot of variation in yields from year to year for both crops. While weather is usually the most significant yield factor, the effect of best management practices cannot be excluded from this calculation. These practices include nutrient management, weed control, irrigation, improved drainage, tillage management, and proper hybrid selection among others that help get the most out of improved crop genetics. It is also important to remember that while higher yields usually mean greater returns, always keep yield expectations realistic.
All of the yield data can be found by doing an internet search for “Minnesota Ag Statistics County Estimates” and looking for the link to the NASS website. For more information feel free to call the Fillmore County Extension office at (507) 765-3896, the Houston County Extension office at 507-725-5807, or myself at email@example.com, or my cell at (507) 951-6609.