USDA’s 2009 Crop Production Summary released revealed that Kansas farmers raked in record yields for grain sorghum. The statewide yield was 88 bushels per acre, up from last year’s 78 bushels per acre. In some places, grain is still standing in the field as farmers struggle to get the last of their crops out, fighting a particularly cold, snowy winter. Meanwhile, projected wheat plantings are down since many farmers didn’t have time to plant winter crops after harvesting summer row crops. Sorghum could take some of those unplanted wheat acres next season.

Nationally, sorghum yield was up 5.4 bushels to 69.4 bushels per acre after a yield of 64 bushels per acre the previous year. Sorghum production across the U.S. was also down, landing at 382.9 million bushels due to a disappointing harvest in Texas that offset Kansas’ great success. Drought in one of the largest sorghum producing areas in the U.S., the Texas Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley, reduced the state’s production to only 98.4 million bushels when Texas usually brings in 155 to 160 million bushels.

USDA has said it may revise its estimates for the March 10 Crop Production Summary because northern states continue to bring in grain.