Local Farms Fare Better Than State
Report: Area Soybean, Corn Yields Surpassed Rest Of Va.
Posted: January 21, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Central Valley soybean farmers fared better than those in other parts of Virginia in 2012. And that’s saying a lot, considering the soybean yield had a record year statewide. The local corn crop also easily outpaced the statewide and national averages.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced the state’s crop summary for 2012 last week, reporting record high yields for soybeans and, statewide, low numbers for corn, due to an extensive summer drought that affected much of the nation.
Nationally, corn yields averaged 123.4 bushels per acre, almost 24 bushels lower than the 2011 average and the lowest average yield in 17 years.
In the state, corn yields came to 103 bushels per acre, 15 fewer than the previous year’s yield.
But local farmers reaped 140 to 145 bushels of corn per acre on average, according to extension agent Matt Yancey.
And local producers fared even better with soybeans.
While the state average for last year was 42 bushels per acre, a record high, Rockingham County farmers averaged about 60 to 65 bushels per acre, Yancey said.
“Soybeans did pretty well because they typically get planted a little later and we had some good rains basically at perfect [times],” he said. “We were definitely better than the state average.”
While the northeastern part of the state has a larger percentage of Virginia’s soybean crop, farmers in that section suffered from extremely hot and dry weather, he explained.
The state crop summary also mentions that winter wheat producers planted 290,000 acres last year, an increase of 10,000 from 2011. Yancey said if there’s any increase in local wheat planting, it’s negligible.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org