Farm Average May Not Tell You Much This Year

Average hides wide variation in performance.

Published on: Nov 17, 2011

One farmer reported he averaged 120 bushels per acre on corn and 37 bushels per acre on soybeans across his entire farm this year. While it's not what he hoped for, it's typical of Indiana this year, except for a few lucky folk in northwest Indiana and select locations in southern Indiana.

However, average yield hardly tells the story of what happened this year. To make up that average, he had corn fields averaging 50 to 170 bushels per acre. And his soybean field averages ranged from about 20 to 50 bushels per acre.

Some report they saw those kinds of differences within the same field! Soil type and amount of rain received at each location became very critical to yield potential this year.

Whether or not he or other farmers with similar results will depend upon what type of coverage they have, and how the farms are broken into units for insurance purposes. Type of coverage could play a big role this year in determining whether or not someone will receive payment from crop insurance.

Not only are crop yields all over the board, moisture percentage, at least for corm, but there is a wide range of moistures coming out of the field. Most of the crop may be harvested, but there is still a wide range of moisture contents remaining in corn yet to be harvested. Some of the crop is still out there, particularly in eastern Indiana.  It wasn't yet all finished by this past weekend.  

The most crops remaining seem to be in areas of wetter soils. That's where crop perhaps went in the latest last spring, and many fields of corn weren't planted until June. Farmers report yields are better than what they expected considering what many of those fields went through, but moisture content is still relatively high.