U.S. field crop values fell 10% in 2013, USDA says

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 14, 2014: The total value of U.S. field crops fell almost 10 percent in 2013 as bumper harvests of major commodities such as corn and soybeans drove prices down, USDA said today in an annual report.

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Total production was valued at $167 billion, USDA said, down from $185.1 billion in 2012, when drought reduced the harvest of major crops, pushing prices to record highs.

The corn crop, the country's biggest, was valued at $62.7 billion in 2013, a nearly 16 percent drop from $74.3 billion in the previous year, as the average price per bushel fell to $4.50 from $6.89, according to USDA.

The 2013 soybean crop was worth $41.8 billion, compared with $43.6 billion in 2012, with prices dropping to $12.70 a bushel from $14.40. The value of the wheat crop was $14.4 billion, down from $17.5 billion, as the per-bushel price dropped to $6.80 from $7.77.

While the “field crops and miscellaneous” category includes about three dozen crops, corn, soybean and wheat accounted for more than 70 percent of the category's total value.

Iowa maintained bragging rights as the top corn-producing state, with a crop valued at $9.94 billion, despite being down sharply from almost $13 billion in 2012. Illinois was in second-place at $9.45 billion. Illinois, however, moved into the top slot for soybean production with a crop worth almost $6 billion, topping Indiana ($5.26 billion), which held the honor the year before.

Kansas had the most valuable wheat crop, at $2.22 billion, even after dropping from$2.83 billion in 2012. The next biggest producer was North Dakota at $1.8 billion, USDA said.

Because of budget constraints, USDA did not include estimated values for the other major crop categories, commercial vegetables and fruits and nuts. A report on vegetable values should be available in April, and one for fruits and nuts in July, a NASS official said.

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