The value of Nebraska’s 2017 corn crop is $5.55 billion and the soybean crop is $2.95 billion according to recent USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) estimates. The corn production value is third-highest in the nation, falling behind Iowa at $9 billion and Illinois at $7.7 billion, and the soybean crop value is the fifth-largest. The figure below shows the values of Nebraska’s corn and soybean crops since 2010. The 2017 corn crop value is lower compared to 2016, but the soybean crop value is slightly higher. The corn crop value exceeded $9 billion in 2011, but has since fallen to where it has been around $6 billion or less in recent years. On the other hand, the value of the soybean crop has consistently hovered around $3 billion through the years. The drop in corn prices and acres in production are both reflected in the lower crop values for corn. Soybean prices have also come down, but increases in acres and higher yields have mitigated the effects on overall crop value.
The crop values from 2010-2017 for wheat, dry beans, potatoes, sorghum, and hay are shown in the figure below. While not generally thought of as a crop, hay is the third-largest commodity grown last year in terms of value at $522 million. The value of wheat production in 2017 is $185 million, significantly lower than the 2016 value of $222 million. The 2017 sorghum crop value is $48 million, and the dry edible bean crop is $101 million. Nebraska’s dry bean production was fourth-largest behind North Dakota, Michigan, and Minnesota. Note the value of potato production surpassed that of sorghum in 2013-2015—a sign Nebraska may someday rival Idaho in potato production?
Jay Rempe is the senior economist for Nebraska Farm Bureau. Rempe’s background in agricultural economics, years of experience in advocating at the state capitol, and a firm grasp of issues allow him to quantify the fiscal impact of a regulatory proposal, and provide an in-depth examination of key issues affecting Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers.