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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Non-Harvested Corn and Soybean Acres: Historical Context

The share of acres planted to corn and soybeans that will be harvested in 2012 has emerged as a topic of interest as the U.S. drought has intensified. The topic has garnered even more interest in light of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) August crop production report that confirmed double digit declines in average U.S. corn and soybean yields. This article examines the data since 1974 to provide perspective on the share of non-harvested acres. A simple historically-based analysis suggests that the share of corn and soybean acres reported as non-harvested in the August report may be somewhat higher than is consistent with the historical evidence since 1974. However, historical examination provides only a guide and history rarely replicates itself. Thus, this article raises an observation for consideration rather than making a conclusion.

Date published: 
Saturday, September 8, 2012