U.S. farmers harvested more corn in 2013 than in 2012, while the soybean harvest declined slightly, according to USDA reports released Friday.
All ag eyes turned toward the USDA, as the reports are the first to give a full final tally of 2013. The huge commodity crops of corn and soybeans are the main drivers of Midwest agriculture.
Though corn prices are expected to drop in 2014 from the record highs of the last decade, the large 2013 corn and soybean harvests shouldn’t send the markets plummeting yet, according to USDA statistician Mark Schleusener.
"Compared to what the industry expected, there was less in storage than what was anticipated,” Schleusener said Friday. “As a result, the futures prices for corn and soybeans are up."
Much of the Midwest battled drought in 2012 and in many areas, emerged from its grip in 2013.
In 2013, Illinois farmers saw the best soybean yields in the nation, outpacing the soybean heavyweight of Iowa. And its corn yields came in just two bushels below the state's record high of 180.
U.S. farmers harvested a record 13.9 billion bushels of corn, up 29 percent from drought-ravaged 2012, according to USDA reports. In fact, last year 18 states, from Michigan to Florida to New York, reported record high corn yields.
Harvest Public Media's Jeremy Bernfeld contributed to this report.