PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota saw a big jump in winter wheat production this year, resulting in a record yield.
The state’s winter wheat crop totaled 63.8 million bushels, up 49 percent from 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in its annual small grains summary. Harvested acres were up 13 percent from last year, while the average yield increased 32 percent to a record 58 bushels per acre. The previous record of 55 bushels per acre was reached in 2008 and matched in 2014.
The increase helped boost U.S. winter wheat production, which rose 22 percent to 1.67 billion bushels.
Wheat-growing conditions in South Dakota were better this year, both in winter and summer, according to Reid Christopherson, executive director of the South Dakota Wheat Commission. In 2015, a large portion of the winter wheat crop planted in September 2014 didn’t turn out well, and the fields were planted to other crops that year, particularly corn and soybeans, he told the Capital Journal.
Production of other small grains crops in South Dakota this year was down from 2015. Durum wheat dropped 6 percent to 231,000 bushels, spring wheat was down 22 percent to 47.3 million bushels and oats decreased 29 percent to slightly more than 9 million bushels.