Major Crops Grown in the United States
In round numbers, U.S. farmers produce about $ 143 billion worth of crops and about $153 billion worth of livestock each year. Production data from the year 2011 for major agricultural crops grown in this country are highlighted in the following table:
|Major agricultural crops produced in the United States in 2011 (excluding root crops, citrus, vegetable, etc).|
|Crop||Harvested Area |
|Cash Receipts from Sales |
Source:U.S. USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service. Crop Production. March 8, 2013.
I post this in response from a great email from a long time reader pointing out that no-till may not be the answer for every application, let alone every operation.
"Slowly but surely no-till keeps creeping into more and more U.S. acres every year. It quietly grows at about 1.5% a year.
Last month, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released new stats on that growth, in part to address no-till’s potential contribution to climate-change efforts.
The adoption of less-intensive tillage practices, they claim, could sequester substantial amounts of carbon, which could lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, the numbers look promising.
The data show that approximately 35.5% of the U.S. cropland planted to eight major crops, or 88 million acres, had no-tillage operations in 2009. ERS researchers analyzed 2000-2007 data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The crops – barley, corn, cotton, oats, rice, sorghum, soybeans and wheat – comprised 94% of the total planted U.S. acreage in 2009.
- Not a big surprise, but soybean farmers had the highest percentage of planted acres with no-till (45.3% in 2006; projected at almost 50% in 2009).
- No-till was practiced on 23.5% of corn acres in 2005 (projected at 29.5% in 2009).
- Cotton was no-tilled on 20.7% of planted acres in 2007 (projected at 23.7% in 2009).
Some no-tillers almost verge on being evangelists when it comes to explaining the how and why of their operations. Frankly, I love talking to those farmers who are so passionate about their no-till and conservation efforts." I am guilty of all charges of being enthusiastic about no-till!
We even have no-till tobacco and specialty crops now. Still, no-till is not the save-all end-all of farming, is it? I figure if a guy can smuggle in planter parts in his luggage in a country where no-till isn't practiced, there must be something to it?