Wallaces Farmer

The large county in north central Iowa produced more corn and soybeans than any other county in the state in 2012.

Rod Swoboda 1, Editor, Wallaces Farmer

February 22, 2013

3 Min Read

Farmers in Kossuth County in north central Iowa produced the most corn and soybeans of any county in Iowa in 2012. The county-by-county crop production numbers for the state were released February 21, 2013 by USDA. Kossuth County produced 52.8 million bushels of corn and over 10 million bushels of soybeans last year.

"Farmers in southern Iowa counties produced the least corn, as the drought of 2012 hit hardest in that area of the state," notes Greg Thessen, director of the Iowa field office in Des Moines for USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.


For the state as a whole, Iowa averaged 137 bushels of corn per acre in 2012, down from 172 bushels per acre in 2011. For soybeans, the statewide average was 44.5 bushels per acre in 2012, down from 51.5 in 2011. The maps accompanying this article show the yield results for both corn and soybeans for all counties in Iowa in 2012.

Iowa Corn Yields—county estimates: In 2012 Kossuth County was the largest corn-producing county in the state with 52.8 million bushels. Webster and Pottawattamie were second and third, respectively, with over 33 million bushels produced. Extreme heat and drought reduced yields significantly across the state.

Only two counties produced yields above 170 bushels per acre, Palo Alto and Clay both had a 170.1 bushel yield average. The five highest yielding counties were in the northwest Iowa crop reporting district. Joining Palo Alto and Clay as top producers were Osceola, Emmet and Pocahontas, in that order.


Appanoose County, in south central district, recorded the lowest average yield of any county in Iowa in 2012, at 44.5 bushels per acre. The second lowest yielding county was Davis, in the southeast district. Eight of the nine lowest yielding counties were in south central district; 11 counties (all in southern Iowa) recorded average yields below 100 bushel per acre.

Iowa Soybean Yields—county estimates: In 2012 Kossuth, Sioux, Tama and Plymouth were the four largest soybean-producing counties with Kossuth being the largest producer with 10.3 million bushels. Dry conditions impacted yields across the state with only 8 counties producing a yield as high, or higher, than 2011.


The biggest increase was in Page County in southwest Iowa which rose from 38.0 bushels per acre in 2011 to 45.3 bushels per acre in 2012. The largest decrease was in Appanoose County in south central Iowa which fell from 43.1 bushels per acre in 2011 to 24.3 bushels per acre in 2012. The highest county average soybean yields were in Cedar County with 56.0 bushels per acre, Marshall with 55.6 bushels per acre, and Clayton with 54.1 bushels per acre. The counties showing the lowest yields for 2012 were Appanoose with 24.3 and Wayne with 27.8, both located in south central Iowa.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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