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Maryland reports record winter wheat yields despite less acresMaryland reports record winter wheat yields despite less acres

Some Pennsylvania producers are reporting 100-bushel winter wheat yields.

Chris Torres

July 18, 2019

3 Min Read
Two combines harvest a wheat field
BANNER WHEAT: Maryland’s winter wheat yield is 75 bushels per acre, 12 bushels higher than 2018 and well-above the U.S. average of 51.8 bushels. AVTG/Getty Images

Maryland farmers are seeing a record winter wheat yield this year even though acreage is down significantly from last year.

According to the USDA’s recent Crop Production Report, the winter wheat yield in the state is 75 bushels per acre, up 8 bushels from the previous report and up 12 bushels from the 2018 average of 63 bushels per acre. The U.S. average is 51.8 bushels.

Maryland wheat production is forecasted at 12.4 million bushels, down 2% from last year, according to the report. The area to be harvested is 165,000 acres, down 18% from last year.

Wheat yields are also expected to be high in Pennsylvania. Jeff Graybill, a Penn State Extension educator in Lancaster County, says in the most recent Crop Progress Report that, “Wheat harvest is wrapping up with several yields reported at 100-plus bushels per acre.” Pennsylvania’s winter wheat production for 2019 was not listed separately in the report, so it’s unclear what the expected production and yield will be.

Tobacco acreage was listed in the report, with Pennsylvania farmers reporting 2,500 acres of Type 31 burley, down 37.5% from last year. Southern Maryland, or Type 32, acreage is 1,000 acres, down slightly from 1,400 acres last year. Type 41 for cigar filler is also down slightly to 2,200 acres.

Corn height is averaging 55 inches in Pennsylvania, just below the five-year average of 68 inches, according to the Crop Progress Report.

Most of the corn is in “good” condition — 61% — according to the report.

Peach harvest is starting with 11% complete. Soybeans are 88% emerged with much of the crop, 55%, in “good” condition. A little over 20% of the crop is in either “fair” or “excellent” condition.

Winter wheat is 81% mature with 54% already harvested for grain. The crop is 51% “good” condition and 28% “fair” condition. Very little of the crop is in “excellent” or “poor” condition.

Average corn height in Maryland, Delaware

The average corn height in Maryland is 71 inches. Most of the crop is in “good” condition, 73%, with 11% reported in “excellent” condition.

Second-cutting alfalfa is 83% complete, which is about average. Third-cutting alfalfa has just started with 10% complete thus far.

Peaches are 20% harvested with 58% of the crop reported in “good” condition and 36% in “excellent” condition.

Soybeans are 96% emerged.

The average corn height in Delaware is 66 inches, just under the 70-inch average for this time of year.

The peach harvest has started with 16% harvested. Watermelon harvest has also just started.

Winter wheat is 95% harvested, well-ahead of the five-year pace of 76%.

In New Jersey, 69% of winter wheat is harvested, ahead of last year’s pace of 56%.

First-cutting hay is 92% complete and soybeans are 80% emerged.

Most of the state’s corn, 56%, is in “good” condition, with 14% in “excellent” condition and 19% in “fair” condition.

Apples are 40% in “good” condition, 35% in “fair” condition and 17% in “excellent” condition.

Most of the hay crop, 73%, is in “good” condition with 2% in “excellent” condition.

Soybeans in the Garden State are 58% in “good” condition, 10% in “excellent” condition and 15% in “fair” condition.

Worse quality in New York

Corn is 79% emerged in New York, behind last year’s pace of 91%.

First-cutting hay is 89% complete, behind last year’s pace of 98%. Second-cutting hay is 25% complete, well-behind the five-year average of 44%.

Soybeans are 77% emerged, well-behind the 93% average.

The quality of the corn is mixed with 32% in “fair” condition, 39% in “good” condition and 18% “excellent.” The remainder is in “poor” or “very poor” condition.

Same goes for hay with 27% in “fair” condition, 40% in “good” condition and 19% in “excellent” condition.

Soybeans are 50% in “fair” condition, 38% in “good” condition and 9% in “excellent” condition.

Winter wheat is 31% “fair” condition, 20% “good” condition and 25% “excellent,” the remainder in either “poor” or “very poor” condition.

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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