Wallaces Farmer

State average oat yield for Iowa was 63 bushels per acre in 2018.

December 31, 2018

3 Min Read
oat field
MOST OATS: Winneshiek is Iowa’s largest oat-producing county, followed by Clayton and Dubuque.

More Iowa farmers are interested in growing oats for grain to diversify their crop rotations. In 2018, Winneshiek was the largest oat-producing county in Iowa at 161,000 bushels, according to the Iowa office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Clayton County finished a distant second with 76,900 bushels. Dubuque was the third largest oat-producing county with 49,100 bushels. Northeast Iowa was the largest oat-producing district with 718,000 bushels.

The highest-yielding county was Plymouth with 90.8 bushels per acre. Lyon had the second-highest yield at 88.3 bushels. Comparing the district averages in 2018, the northwest district had the highest yield at 73.3 bushels per acre.

The lowest-yielding county was Greene at 34.7 bushels per acre. Howard had the second lowest at 40.6 in 2018. The central district in Iowa had the largest drop in yield, down 36.1 bushels per acre from 2017, followed by the north-central district, declining 25.3 bushels per acre.


Yields are derived from production divided by area harvested. Only published estimates were considered in rankings of districts and counties.

Census of Ag results to be released
In other news from NASS, the agency announced that data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture had a 71.5% national response rate. As data collection ended in July, Iowa finished with a 77.2% response, second highest of all states. The census, conducted once every five years, was mailed to more than 3 million farms and ranches across the U.S. in late 2017, with just over 117,000 mailed to Iowa producers.

“We thank every producer who took the time to respond to the census,” says NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “The Census of Ag is an important part of U.S. history that remains as relevant today as it was in 1840, when it was first conducted. The census gives voice and opportunity to all farmers and ranchers in America to tell the changing story of agriculture over the years, and identify emerging trends and needs.”

Data from the 2017 Census of Ag is scheduled to be released starting Feb. 21, in conjunction with the 2019 Ag Outlook Forum and continue through spring. Results of the census will be available in aggregate form, ensuring no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by law. All census data will be available on NASS’ recently merged NASS/Ag Census website at nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.

The census provides the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. The data is widely used by local and national decision-makers to shape research and education programs, farm programs, rural infrastructure, and disaster relief needs.

“We appreciate the time Iowa farmers invested in completing their census form and helping achieve the 77.2% response rate. This rate was just behind the 77.8% achieved in Illinois. The aggregate information from individual farmer responses provides a powerful tool for everyone involved in ag and rural communities,” says Greg Thessen, NASS Upper Midwest regional director.

Special surveys by NASS
Two Ag Census special studies will be conducted this winter: the 2018 Census of Aquaculture, and the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey. These questionnaires will be mailed by January to farms that reported these activities in 2017 Census of Ag.

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