Delaware's corn and soybean crop yields up 7 percent

Delaware's corn and soybean crop yields were higher than predicted in 2012, despite unusually dry conditions and the arrival of Hurricane Sandy during the growing season, according to the final production estimates released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the report, Delaware farmers planted 185,000 acres of corn in 2012, down nearly 3 percent from 2011. Of those, 178,000 acres were harvested for grain and 5,000 acres were harvested for silage. Yield for grain is estimated at 135 bushels per acre, up nearly 4 percent from 2011, for a total production of 24 million bushels. Silage production increased 1,000 tons from 2011 for a total production of 85,000 tons, an average of 17 tons per acre.

Farmers in the state also planted 170,000 acres of soybeans in 2012, equal to the year before. A total of 168,000 acres were harvested for beans at an average yield of 42 bushels per acre, up 7 percent from 2011. Total production of soybeans is estimated at 7.1 million bushels.

Hay was harvested on 16,000 acres in Delaware, up more than 6 percent from 2011. This resulted in 42,000 tons of hay produced, more than 7 percent more than 2011.

According to the USDA's first winter wheat forecast for 2013, Delaware farmers planted 75,000 acres of the crop last fall, down 13 percent from 2012.