Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

The folks at the National Agricultural Statistics Service released the annual crop summary for Colorado in 2020.

The Director of the Mountain Region NASS office Bill Meyer has a rundown of some of the numbers starting with corn.

The 2020 corn for grain crop is estimated at 123.00 million bushels, 23 percent below last year’s production of 159.90 million bushels, The average yield of 116.0 bushels per acre is 7.0 bushels per acre below the yield realized last year. Area harvested for grain in 2020, at 1.06 million acres, is 240,000 acres below last year. Acreage cut for corn silage is estimated at 230,000 acres, up 55,000 acres from last year, with production estimated at 5.29 million tons, compared with 4.20 million tons produced last year.

Sorghum for grain production is estimated at 5.10 million bushels, down 60 percent from the previous year. The average yield is estimated at 20.0 bushels per acre, down 21.0 bushels per acre from last year. Producers harvested 255,000 acres for grain, down 55,000 acres from last year’s area harvested. Acreage cut for sorghum silage is estimated at 23,000 acres, up 5,000 acres from last year, with production estimated at 253,000 tons compared with 306,000 tons produced last year.

Colorado’s barley seeded area, at 53,000 acres, is down 1,000 acres from last year. Harvested area, at 45,000 acres, is down 7,000 acres from 2019. Barley yield, at 145.0 bushels per acre, is up 7.0 bushels per acre from last year and equals the record yield set in 2018. Barley production in 2020 is estimated at 6.53 million bushels, down 9 percent from the previous year.

Winter wheat production in Colorado, estimated at 41.04 million bushels, is down 58 percent from 2019. Winter wheat producers seeded 1.90 million acres in the fall of 2019 for harvest in 2020, down from 2.15 million acres seeded for the previous year’s crop, and is the lowest winter wheat planted acreage since 1.71 million acres were seeded in 1945. Acreage harvested for grain decreased 480,000 acres from last year to 1.52 million acres in 2020, and is the lowest winter wheat harvested acres since 1.23 million acres in 1965. Winter wheat yield, at 27.0 bushels per acre, is down 22.0 bushels per acre from last year.

Proso millet production in the state is estimated at 4.50 million bushels, down from 11.84 million bushels produced last year. Farmers harvested 310,000 acres of proso millet, down 10,000 acres from the previous year. Yield decreased 22.5 bushels per acre from last year to 14.5 bushels per acre.

All hay production for 2020 is estimated at 3.30 million tons, down 19 percent from the 2019 total. Alfalfa hay production is estimated at 2.38 million tons from 700,000 acres harvested, down 321,000 tons from 2019. The average yield for the 2020 crop is 3.40 tons per acre, 0.30 ton per acre below last year. All other hay production totaled 918,000 tons from 680,000 acres harvested, down 433,000 tons from 2019. The average yield of 1.35 tons per acre is 0.50 ton per acre below last year. New seedings of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures in Colorado are estimated at 75,000 acres, down 6 percent from 2019. As of December 1, producers in Colorado were storing 1.70 million tons of all hay, down 15 percent from the 2.00 million tons stored last year.

All sunflower production is estimated at 46.11 million pounds from 49,000 acres harvested. Yield is estimated at 941 pounds per acre, down from the 1,080 pounds attained last year. Production of oil varieties decreased 40 percent from the previous year to 26.56 million pounds and production of non-oil varieties increased 27 percent from the previous year to 19.55 million pounds.

The state’s sugarbeet crop of 742,000 tons for 2020 is down 1 percent from the 746,000 tons produced in 2019. Producers harvested 23,700 acres in 2020, down from 24,300 acres in 2019. Average yield is estimated at 31.3 tons per acre, 0.6 ton per acre above 2019.

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