Recently released numbers from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that it was a record year for corn yields in southern Minnesota.

Estimates show that the statewide average for corn yields in 2017 was 194 bushels per acre, exceeding the previous record of 193 bushels per acre that was set in 2016.

Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse says the difference from the two years is what parts of the state led in production. 

“In 2016, that statewide yield was built with record yields in west-central, northwest Minnesota. This year it was just phenomenal yields in the southern third of the state. The highest yield in the state was from Watonwan County, just shy of 219 bushels an acre.”

Twenty-eight counties in southern Minnesota had corn yields that exceeded 200 bushels per acre, including Blue Earth County, which was above 205.

“Waseca, Steele, Faribault County in our area, all above 215. Which is tremendous yield. We think about a few years ago, we thought 200 bushels an acre is really off the charts for a yield. Now the statewide yields almost up to that and you know we got counties averaging 205 to 215.”

Minnesota had an estimated total of 1.48 billion bushels of corn harvested in 2017.

The average soybean yield in 2017 was estimated at 47 bushels per acre, well below the state record of 52 bushes per acre set in 2016. A total of 380.2 million bushels of soybeans were produced last year, also down from the previous year.