Wisconsin farmers set a new record for soybean production during the past growing season – due mostly to an increase in total harvested acres. The state's agriculture department announced its 2006 crop production earlier this month, which noted that 72.2 million bushels of soybeans were harvested, up 4% from the 2005 record of 69.5 million bushels. Yields averaged 44 bushels per acre last year, about the same as the year before, and three bushels per acre below the record yield set in 1998.
State crop experts say there were a total of 1.65 million acres of soybeans planted in 2006, compared to 1.61 million acres in 2005. A full 99.4%, or 1.64 million acres, of soybeans were harvested for beans.
Corn planted for all purposes in Wisconsin in 2006 decreased 4% from 2005 to 3.65 million acres. The number of acres harvested for grain was down three percent to 2.80 million acres. The state's grain yield averaged 143 bushels per acre, down five bushels from the estimated yield in 2005. Total production in Wisconsin was 400 million bushels in 2006, down 7% from the prior year.
Wisconsin's corn for silage production is estimated at 14 million tons, the second highest ever. Total production declined 6% from the record set in 2005. The estimated yield of 17 tons per acre is equal to last year's record yield. Acres harvested for silage, however, were down 6% from 2005.
Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures for dry hay in the Badger State yielded an estimated 2.80 tons per acres, up 0.40 tons from the prior year. Acres harvested totaled 1.65 million in 2006, an increase of 6%. Production reached an estimated 4.62 million tons, a 24% increase from 2005. There were 2.40 million acres of alfalfa forage were harvested in 2006, equal to last year's acreage. Alfalfa forage production includes all forms of alfalfa hay (dry hay, haylage, and greenchop) reported at a standard 13% moisture level (dry equivalent).
Wisconsin producers of winter wheat seeded 280,000 acres of winter wheat for the 2007 crop year, an increase of 30,000 acres from 2006. This is the highest acreage on record for the state.
Potato growers planted and harvested 66,000 acres of fall potatoes in 2006, both down 2,000 acres from the previous year. This was the lowest harvested acreage since 1990. The average yield of 445 hundredweight (cwt.) per acre was up 9% from 2005, surpassing 2004's record yield by 10 cwt. Total production rose 5% to 29.4 million cwt.
And 5,500 acres of dry edible beans were harvested, producing an average of 1,960 pounds per acre. Total production in the state was 108 cwt., 16% below the previous year, due to a 13% decline in yield, and 200 fewer acres harvested.