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Big gains projected in South Dakota corn and soybean production

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Big gains projected in South Dakota corn and soybean production

Sep 13, 2023 | 2:04 pm ET
By Joshua Haiar
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Big gains projected in South Dakota corn and soybean production
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A farmer harvests corn. (Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting South Dakota’s 2023 corn harvest at 816 million bushels, up 23% from last year’s production, based on new field and survey data

South Dakota farmers will harvest corn on 5.59 million acres. That’s 12% more than last year. The department estimates farmers will harvest an average of 146 bushels on each of those acres – 14 bushels more than last year. 

Drought drives big drop in wheat and oat forecast amid long-term shift to corn and soybeans

Additionally, farmers are expected to harvest 217 million bushels of soybeans. That’s 13% more than last year. 

The soybean harvest will cover 5.05 million acres of land, which is slightly down from 2022. Yields are projected to be up 5 bushels, at 43 bushels per acre.

More acres are going to corn because of favorable economics and other factors, said Aberdeen farmer Craig Schaunaman.

“You had a shift off of wheat and oat acres, and decent rain meant better yields,” he said, adding that the robust disaster insurance and subsidy programs for corn and soybeans make them a safer option. 

The USDA projects the state’s sorghum harvest at 21.7 million bushels, up 82% from last year. That harvest will come from 255,000 acres, up 46% from last year. Additionally, the yield per acre is forecast at 85 bushels, up 17 bushels from last year – and a record high if that happens.

Justin Vanneman plants some grain sorghum, commonly referred to as milo, at his farm near Winner. “We had good moisture early on in the summer,” he said, which got things growing well and ensured moisture in the soil throughout the growing season. Conditions were also favorable later in the season. “Milo does well when it’s a touch drier; it fills out nicely with a little heat later on in the season,” he said.