The good news from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Northern Plains Region office in Sioux Falls is that South Dakota farmers may harvest more soybeans this year than ever before:
Soybean production is forecast at record high 277 million bushels, up 15.0 percent from last year. Acres for harvest, at 5.66 million acres, is up 1 percent from 2017. Yield is forecast at 49 bushels per acre, up 6 bushels from last year [USDA NASS, “South Dakota Crop Production Report,” 2018.09.12].
The bad news: since Donald Trump has cut off market access to 1.4 billion protein-hungry Chinese, South Dakota farmers will be stuck with paltry welfare payments instead of the better market prices free trade would get them for their productivity. Get ready for lots of soy nuts in your school lunches…
USDA says South Dakota corn production will also hit a record high—839 million bushels statewide, at 173 bushels per acre, a 19% better per-acre yield than last year. Sorghum production will be up 49% from last year, while dry edible pea production will be down 9%.